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New Report Shows Progress on Sodium in Foods, but Nutrition Labels are Still Key

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A new report from CSPI recently showed that the food industry has been making gradual changes to the amount of sodium in your food. The report compared the sodium in a variety of foods in 2005 to the same foods in 2015. CSPI found that these foods had, on average, 4% less sodium in 2015 compared to 2005.

The report also found that even among similar types of foods, the sodium content can vary a lot. For example, the report compared a variety of bread brands, and found that the sodium content of a slice of bread from one brand can contain 100 mg more sodium than a slice from another brand. In another example, the report showed that one brand of bacon had 80 percent more sodium than another brand.

What does this mean for sodium in our food supply?

This report shows that many food companies have the capability and technology to offer foods with more moderate levels of sodium. This is why it’s increasingly important to tell food companies that you want them to offer foods with less sodium!

What can you do?

Join our growing community. As a movement, we encourage significant changes in the food industry and in government policy, and give you opportunities to learn about sodium reduction and take action.

Watch for the Salty Six. There are six foods that contribute the most sodium to our diets, some of which don’t necessarily taste salty, but because we eat them often the sodium in them adds up.

The top six food categories that contribute to the sodium Americans eat are:

  1. breads and rolls,
  2. cold cuts and cured meats,
  3. pizza,
  4. poultry,
  5. soup, and
  6. sandwiches.

The Salty Six foods for kids include:

  1. pizza,
  2. breads and rolls,
  3. cold cuts and cured meats,
  4. savory snacks (such as chips and pretzels),
  5. sandwiches (including burgers), and
  6. cheese.

Vote with your wallet. Compare the nutrition labels of similar products and choose the food with the lowest amount of sodium. You can find the amount of sodium in your food by looking at the Nutrition Facts label. The amount of sodium per serving is listed in milligrams, abbreviated “mg.” It’s important to watch out for both salt and sodium in your food. Many people know that salt contains sodium, but the foods we eat often also contain other forms of sodium, like sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate [MSG] and sodium benzoate. Remember that if you eat two servings of a food, you are getting twice the amount of sodium shown on the label.

Find out more by reading about the report from CSPI.

What motivates you to eat less excess sodium? Let us know in the comments!