Dietitian with Public Health in Saint John, NB
Recent headlines report that cutting back on sodium could save as many as 50,000 lives over 10 years in the United States. According to a study in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, Canadians eat as much as 90% more sodium than Health Canada’s recommended maximum of 2,300 mg per day. If Canadians could cut back to an adequate intake of 1,500 mg of sodium or less, it could lead to 30% less strokes and heart disease (Sodium 101).
You may think you’re doing well at cutting back on salt by simply avoiding the salt shaker and using less salt when you cook. Unfortunately, a large amount of the salt we consume is hidden in fast foods and processed/packaged foods.
So, how can you make a difference?
- Prepare healthy meals using whole foods.
- Avoid processed foods, including meats such as salami, bologna and wieners.
- Use plain pasta and rice and vegetables instead of products with added salt seasonings.
- When you buy packaged foods, look at the Nutrition Facts Table on the label to select products with 5% or less of the Daily Value (DV) for sodium.
- If you prefer to go by milligrams, choose items containing 200 mg or less of sodium, limit those with 200-400 mg, and avoid items with 400 mg or more.