February 13, 2012

Foods Topping the List of Sodium Culprits

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study says that about 90 percent of the people in the United States consume too much sodium per day. It is not surprising that the largest contributors of the excess sodium come from your grocery store purchases and foods you eat at restaurants.

An average person consumes about 3300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. The US published guidelines are for less than 2300 mg of salt per day. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, are an African-American, or are over the age of 51, then you should limit your salt to 1500 mg per day.

The study lists the top ten foods that are the largest contributors of the sodium we consume on a daily basis. The 10 foods are responsible for 44 percent of our sodium intake.

  • Breads and rolls
  • Luncheon meats such as deli ham and turkey
  • Pizza
  • Poultry
  • Soups
  • Cheeseburgers and other sandwiches
  • Cheese
  • Pasta dishes
  • Meat dishes
  • Snack foods including chips, pretzels, and popcorn”

It is very interesting that the majority of our sodium comes from outside the home. We do need to be concerned about the salt contained in processed foods and work to reduce the sodium we purchase. This graph makes one sit up and take notice:

Some food manufacturers are working to reduce the sodium content of their foods, but I have to wonder if the 10 percent reduction in sodium is not a token gesture to appease those asking for sodium reduction. However, a 10 percent reduction in all foods is a start.

What the WebMD article fails include is the tips on how to reduce your salt consumption. Read the source information by the CDC.

  • Choose to purchase healthy options and talk with your grocer or favorite restaurant about stocking lower sodium food choices.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label while shopping to find the lowest sodium options of your favorite foods.
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce.
  • Limit processed foods high in sodium.
  • When eating out, request lower sodium options.
  • Support initiatives that reduce sodium in foods in cafeterias and vending machines.”

These are good tips and ways to attempt to limit your sodium.

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