Post Content

Susan 2Posted by Susan Svencer, MPH

Susan is a Sodium Reduction Specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

 

NutritionLabelHandPointing

 

Sodium is the main ingredient in salt. Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. And believe it or not, the salt from our salt shakers isn’t the biggest culprit. Nearly all (80%!) of our sodium intake comes from the pre-packaged, processed, and prepared foods from stores and restaurants. This is why it is so important to check and compare food labels for low sodium.

However, labels aren’t always easy to read, and words can be deceiving. Walking through the grocery store, you have probably noticed a lot of your favorite food products are now offered in different “low sodium” options. I am the first to admit that making sense of sodium can get a bit grainy. Getting familiar with this label lingo can help you decide what the heck to choose on your next trip to the grocer:

• A low sodium product contains 140 mg or less per serving.
• A very low sodium product contains 35 mg or less per serving.
• A sodium free product contains less than 5 mg (milligrams) per serving.

“Reduced” is another word that can throw some people for a loop. Just because something has “reduced” sodium, doesn’t always mean its low in sodium when compared to other foods or brands. Foods marked “light” or “reduced” sodium could still pack a lot of sodium. Who knows how much sodium was in the original version before it was reduced.

• A reduced/less sodium product has been reduced 25% per serving from the original level.
• A light in sodium product has been reduced by at least 50% per serving.
• A light reduced/less sodium product has been reduced 50% per serving AND the food is low-calorie or low-fat.

Like I said, all these labels can get confusing. So when in doubt, compare brands. Two foods that seem almost the same may have very different sodium levels. Compare food labels, and choose the brand with less sodium.

For more information about salt, sodium levels, and your health, visit www.mass.gov/dph/salt.

 

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Written By:

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Posts

Celebrate National Infant Immunization Week! posted on Apr 20

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is April 18-25, 2015. The Department of   …Continue Reading Celebrate National Infant Immunization Week!

Weekly Flu Report, April 17, 2015 posted on Apr 17

The latest weekly flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness declined during the past seven days. This is in keeping with how flu season tends to wind down in New England at this time of year. You can help stop the spread of illness   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 17, 2015

Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stress! posted on Apr 13

Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stress!

After a long and gruesome winter, we’re all feeling a little bit stressed. Unfortunately, even without a record-breaking snowy winter, stress is an unavoidable part of life. But the good news is that there are simple ways to manage stress so it doesn’t impact our   …Continue Reading Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stress!