According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 9 out of 10 Americans have too much salt (sodium chloride) in their diets. For those of us who have or are at risk for developing high blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is particularly important.
Not adding salt to cooked foods is a good first step but most of the salt we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. Sodium is already part of processed foods and cannot be removed but we can select lower sodium foods when possible and cook more foods ourselves, to better control how much sodium we eat. Read the Nutrition Facts label while shopping
to find the lowest sodium options of your favorite foods.
According to a recent national CDC study, the leading sources of overall sodium consumption are bread and rolls, cold cuts/cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches such as cheeseburgers, cheese, pasta mixed dishes such as spaghetti with meat sauce, meat mixed dishes such as meatloaf with tomato sauce, and savory snacks like chips and pretzels. Together, these account for more than 40% of sodium consumption. For kids, hotdogs and ready-to-eat cereals are in the top ten. Click here to learn about things you can do at home, when eating in restaurants and while shopping to cut back on salt.