This week, we’re all about enjoying naturally great-tasting foods again. By one recent estimate, more than half the calories, nearly 90% of added sugars, and 71% of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. So even if you never touch the salt shaker, sugar bowl, or butter dish, you could be getting too much.
What can you do to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains?
Replace some of the highly-processed and less-healthy foods you eat with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables will add vitamins and minerals, fill you up, and help cut back on excess sodium, added sugars, and saturated fat.
Check out this processed food hack from one of our #BreakUpWithSalt supporters:
"When preparing processed foods at home, divide portions in half and add an equal amount of cooked veggies. It lessens the sodium and multiplies the vegetables." - Keltcie Delamar, Richmond, VA
When you cut the amount of processed food you eat, you usually cut sodium too! And, replacing less-healthy foods with vegetables is a smart idea. We know that fruits and veggies add color to your plate, and they also help you get needed potassium. Keltcie says this hack “works with almost any recipe. The family hasn't even noticed.”
Read and compare the label. You may notice a big difference among brands!
Take a look at the nutrition facts label to compare sodium, saturated fat, and (for some labels) added sugars. Choose the option with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, and saturated fat.
Or, look for the Heart-Check mark on the front of the package. When you spot the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark, you'll instantly know the food has been certified to meet our nutrition requirements. It's a good first step in creating an overall sensible eating plan.
Make a difference: Celebrate World Salt Awareness week. Join us for a Facebook live event on March 16, 2018 at 12:00 ET. Follow our Facebook page to get live updates.
Sources from this article include:
http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892 Martínez Steele E, Baraldi LG, Louzada MLDC, et al. Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study BMJ Open 2016;6:e009892. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009892. “The average US daily intake of added sugars was 292.2 kcal (table 1). Notably, almost 90% of this (89.7%) came from ultra-processed foods.”
Harnack et al. Sources of Sodium in US Adults From 3 Geographic Regions. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/135/19/1775