The Pork Checkoff continues to connect with key influencers to provide a clear message for Americans struggling with mixed signals when it comes to what they should be eating.

“We recently attended the American Heart Association’s Industry Nutrition Advisory Panel meeting to meet with various health professionals, commodity groups and major food companies to discuss diet and nutrition trends,” says Adria Sheil-Brown, manager of nutrition communication and research for the Pork Checkoff. “It was a very good conference that allowed everyone involved to keep up with current nutrition research.”

A key point of discussion was the proposed revision of the Dietary Guidelines 2010, in particular for sodium content. Current sodium recommendation is 2,300 milligrams (mg) or about one teaspoon per day. The new recommendation will likely drop to 1,500 mg, which is a little less than three-fourths of a teaspoon of sodium per day, says Sheil-Brown. She notes Americans currently consume two to three times more sodium than the recommended daily level.

“The good news is that fresh pork is naturally low in sodium,” she adds.

To promote pork’s role in a healthy diet, the Pork Checkoff has also distributed a new Pork and Health e-newsletter this spring aimed at dietitians and other health professionals.

“Now is the perfect time to update the importance of incorporating lean protein, like pork, into a balanced, nutrient-rich diet,” notes the newsletter. “With tough economical times still looming, it is imperative your clients understand how to maximize nutrients while minimizing cost.”

Based on the “Affordable Meats Survey” conducted by the National Pork Board, 70% of Americans say they are eating out less to save money. Also, 64% say they plan to look for low-cost meal options.

“By steering your clients toward low-cost, nutrient-rich foods, you will help ensure they do not let their calorie budgets overflow, or leave their wallets empty,” the newsletter points out.

The e-newsletter also directs readers to look for more lean and tasty pork recipes at the www.PorkandHealth.org
site and learn the basics of cooking pork at www.TheOtherWhiteMeat.com.

“We continue to look for new ways to remain a credible, trusted resource on health and nutrition information for all things pork,” says Sheil-Brown.