The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

Steaks on the grill at the Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo. So far there are no figures that show if the table salt ban, which was enacted a few years ago, is actually making a difference in Uruguayans' health. Travel Aficionado/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Travel Aficionado/Flickr

Numbat populations once dropped as low as 500 adults. To help save this endangered marsupial, the Perth Zoo has been rearing them in captivity for release back into the wild. But wild numbats eat only termites, which are too difficult to get in large quantities. So zoo staff have spent over a decade concocting a tasty and nutritious substitute. Helenabella via Wikimedia Commons hide caption

itoggle caption Helenabella via Wikimedia Commons

A whole range of foods in common in the Mediterranean diet — from fish to nuts to fruits and vegetables — are rich in antioxidants and may protect against cognitive decline. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

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TV marketing that pushes foods high in salt, sugar and fat to children can put their long-term health at risk, according to past research. So has Big Food changed its ways? iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

A pedestrian walks by a Panera Bread restaurant on June 3 in San Francisco. Panera Bread is set to remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from items on its menu by the end of 2016. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Once the roots of the Eskimo potato got too tough to eat, Christopher McCandless started collecting the seeds in a plastic bag, says author Jon Krakauer. Photo courtesy of McCandless family hide caption

itoggle caption Photo courtesy of McCandless family

Back in 2012, Silver Diner — a fast-casual restaurant chain in Maryland and Virginia — completely overhauled its children's menu. Those changes helped dramatically improve the healthfulness of kids' meals ordered, a new study finds. Ron Cogswell/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Ron Cogswell/Flickr

In the Blue Zone of Okinawa, Japan, locals drink green tea with jasmine flowers and turmeric called shan-pien, which translates to "tea with a bit of scent." David McLain/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption

itoggle caption David McLain/Courtesy of Blue Zones

Food companies can make safety evaluations of their products in secret without ever telling the Food and Drug Administration. Luciano Lozano/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Luciano Lozano/Ikon Images/Corbis

Performance nutrition experts recommend stopping at all the hydration stations for a quick fill-up of a sports drink to replenish the glycogen that's being burned during a marathon. iStockphoto hide caption

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According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were four flavors of Kind bar that were misbranded when the agency reviewed them in August 2014. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Kellman/NPR

Food on display at a Miami supermarket. Advocacy groups say they're concerned that Americans are consuming foods with added flavors, preservatives and other ingredients that have never been reviewed by regulators for immediate dangers or long-term health effects. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A distinct version of the Mediterranean diet is followed on the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, Greece. It emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, beans, fruit, moderate amounts of alcohol and low quantities of meat and dairy products. Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption

itoggle caption Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones

A mock-up of a warning label for sodas and sugary drinks proposed in California by public health advocates. California Center for Public Health Advocacy hide caption

itoggle caption California Center for Public Health Advocacy

The salty suspects: Some 70 percent of the cheeses, soups, cold cuts and pizzas we buy at the grocery store exceed the Food and Drug Administration's "healthy" labeling standards for salt. Since we eat so much bread, it is — perhaps surprisingly — the top contributor of sodium to our diets. iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr

Beginning April 1, all sugary beverages and food of "minimal-to-no nutritional value" sold on the Navajo reservation will incur an additional 2-cent tax. April Sorrow/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption April Sorrow/Flickr

Frito-Lay reformulated Flamin' Hot Cheetos, a perennial favorite among school kids, to meet new federal "Smart Snack" rules for schools. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

A health inspection grade is posted outside a Manhattan eatery. In several cities, Yelp users can now find out how a restaurant scored on its health inspection well before they walk through the door. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis. Erik Schelzig/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Erik Schelzig/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Central Illinois corn farmer Jerry McCulley refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. A new assessment of the chemical finds that the (uncertain) risks mainly affect the people who work with it or who come in direct contact with areas where it's applied. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Seth Perlman/AP

Bottom round roast is one cut of beef that fits the government's definition of "lean." Still, the definition is confusing to consumers, nutrition scientists argue. Paul Polis/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Polis/Corbis