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10 words to watch on restaurant menus

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Reducing sodium to moderate, healthy levels requires action and partnership at all levels—individuals, healthcare providers, schools, professional organizations, public health agencies, governments, and industry. For example, this fall, NYC made an historic decision to warn diners when any food item has more than 2,300 mg of sodium.

According to federal nutrition recommendations, 2,300 mg is the most sodium that a person should eat in an entire day. If someone is getting that much sodium in just one meal, it sets that person up to be well above recommended levels. This warning label represents one educational tool that Americans can use to learn about the sodium offered to us in restaurants.

We deserve the right to choose how much sodium we eat.

However, that decision is often being made for us by the food industry in some restaurant and prepackaged foods. In fact, almost 25 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets comes from restaurant foods.

And, most of that sodium is added before it gets to your table.

Too much sodium in the diet can impact your health by increasing your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Reducing sodium intake can save money, save lives, and improve heart health. Most Americans consume an average of nearly 3,500 mg sodium/day, which is more than 1,000 mg more than any public health group recommends.

The next time you find yourself in a restaurant, break up with excess salt by following these tips.

And, watch out for foods described on the menu with these words:

  1. Au jus
  2. Brined
  3. Barbecued
  4. Broth
  5. Cured
  6. Miso
  7. Pickled
  8. Smoked
  9. Soy sauce
  10. Teriyaki sauce

How will you watch for sodium on the menu? Share your ideas in the comments.