Cutting Back on Salt Means More Than Getting Rid of the Salt Shaker

salt-shakerThe typical American diet contains approximately 5,000mg of sodium.  The current recommendations state that adults should eat less than 2,400 mg of sodium a day (that’s about a teaspoon of salt for the entire day).  People with high blood pressure and/or heart failure should limit their sodium to less than 2,000 mg per day.  Getting rid of the salt shaker from the table and avoiding adding salt to foods while cooking is the first step to decrease your salt intake.  But the majority of sodium we eat in a day comes from food processing – so reading food labels is a must!

The following food packaging  guidelines were developed by the FDA:

Sodium free or No sodium on a food label means the product contains fewer than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Low sodium labels mean there is 140 milligrams or less per serving.

Reduced sodium, lower sodium, and less sodium labels mean the usual sodium level in the product is reduced by 25%.

Lightly salted means there is 50% less sodium than is normally added to the product.

Unsalted, no salt added, without added salt labels means no salt is added during the food processing but the natural sodium of the product is present.

It’s important to read the food label, serving sizes and actual sodium content and not just the description on the front of the box.

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