Blog 2/28/2017

Weekly Clinical Service Dose: Do You Know Where Salt Is Hiding in Your Food?

Studies show that cutting down on sodium in your diet can lower blood pressure — reducing your risk of stroke, heart failure and other health problems.

Experts say most people should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium each day. That’s one teaspoon. People with certain medical conditions should consume even less. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration proposed new guidelines to help get people’s daily salt intake to this level over the next decade from the current average of about 3,400 milligrams — or 48 percent more than the recommended daily limit.

Isn’t sea salt healthier?

Spilled salt with salt shaker on wooden background

Sea salt is generally marketed as a “natural” and “healthier” alternative.

The main differences between sea salt and table salt are in taste, texture and processing. Sea salt has a stronger flavor. However, what people should remember is that both sea salt and table salt have the same amount of sodium by weight.

Should I just stop using the salt shaker?

It does help to avoid adding salt to your food at the table, but unfortunately, a major part of the sodium in American diets — almost 80 percent — comes from processed and packaged foods. These foods can be high in sodium even if they don’t taste salty.

These foods that include hidden salt:

–Frozen meals–Canned or pickled foods–Snack foods–Deli meat–Cheese—Condiments—Sauces—

–Dressings–Breads—Cereals–Soda (including diet soda)—Box Meals-Canned soup—Pizza—

Checking labels is the only way to know how much sodium is in your food. If you buy packaged or processed foods, choose foods that are labeled “sodium-free” or “very low sodium.”

How to read a label? Click How to Read A Label.

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