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, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19

Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014

Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12

This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014

Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10

The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up   …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014