Reduce your salt intake by avoiding these foods

Over a dozen favorite and convenience foods contribute to Americans consuming too much salt.

Nearly 90% of Americans exceed dietary recommendations for sodium intake, which increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. According to new Canadian research, some familiar favorites topped the list [1].

A news report from the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences said that the top 15 food categories that contribute to dietary sodium account for just over 50% of total dietary sodium intake in Americans, with pizzabreadcold cutssoups and burritos contributing the most.

Pizza leads the list with 5.3% of total dietary sodium intake, followed by breads, rolls and buns at 4.7%. Cold cuts and cured meats follow at 4.6%, soups at 4.4%, burritos and tacos at 4.3%, savory snacks at 4.1% and poultry at 4%.

As for the bottom half of the list, cheesepasta mixed dishesburgersmeat mixed dishescookiesbrowniescakesbaconfrankfurterssausagesvegetables and chicken nuggets account for between 1.5% and 3.1% of sodium intake. For the study, the University of Toronto researchers used US health survey data from 2017 to 2018. The study asked respondents to recall what they ate.

According to the study authors, education and food labeling campaigns to reduce salt intake had little impact. Identifying these salt sources may help inform future policies and programs to reduce sodium intake.

According to lead study author Mavra Ahmed, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, these data are important in light of FDA Voluntary Sodium Reduction Goals, which reaffirm the importance of limiting salt in the food supply and can assist in focusing future efforts on reducing sodium. [2].

Both the World Health Organization and the CDC suggest limiting sodium intake in order to lower the chances of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in North America. The authors conclude that the present research contributes vital information about food categories amenable to reformulation and could significantly impact American diets.

The study’s results were recently published in the journal Nutrients.

[1] https://iafns.org/publication/top-sodium-food-sources-in-the-american-diet-using-national-health-and-nutrition-examination-survey/
[2] https://labbelab.utoronto.ca/profiles/mavra-ahmed/

Photograph: 13people/Envato
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