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

Weekly Flu Report, February 24, 2017 posted on Feb 24

The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness declined slightly over the past seven days. It’s too soon to tell if we’ve seen the peak of flu activity this season, and in any case. we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 24, 2017

Weekly Flu Report, February 17, 2017 posted on Feb 17

Rates of flu-like illness have risen over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it’s not too late – there’s still plenty of flu vaccine available. Call your health care provider or local board   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 17, 2017

Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day! posted on Feb 14

Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day!

By Eliza Mellion, M.S. This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget that—thanks to the American Heart Association—February is American Heart Month! It can be hard to resist the chocolates, candy hearts, and pink-frosted cupcakes that this holiday brings.  While it’s fun to shower our loved ones with   …Continue Reading Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day!