Now, there is a new way for you to know about the sodium in restaurant foods. Today, the New York Supreme Court ruled that sodium warning labels will be placed on restaurant menus. Now, you will know whether a particular restaurant dish contains 2,300 mg of sodium or more.
You have the power!
This decision gives you the power to make choices about the food you eat. Because about three-quarters of the sodium you eat comes from restaurant and processed foods, it is important to know the amount of sodium when you order at a restaurant. Here are five additional ways you can watch for sodium in restaurant foods:
- Ask for less salt. It’s ok to tell your sever that you’d like your food prepared without extra salt.
- Taste test your food. Before you add salt, taste it. And, if it needs a flavor boost, try shaking on ground black pepper or squeezing a fresh lemon on top.
- Be choosy. Learn for these 10 words to watch for on restaurant menus.
- Take it to go. Portion control can also mean sodium control. When you order your food, also ask for a to-go box. When your food arrives, simply take half of the dish and place it in the box to eat later.
- Ask for the facts. And by that, we mean the nutrition facts! A new law, effective in December 2016, requires chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to provide nutrition information upon request.
Momentum is building.
Both food companies and the government are paying attention to sodium. This summer, the FDA issued for the first time ever draft sodium targets for different foods. And, we are seeing increasingly more food companies making a commitment to reduce sodium in their foods.
And you have played a big role in building momentum! Over the last year, we have collectively sent more than 18,000 letters to 15 food companies, asking them to make sodium reduction a priority. Here are the impressive results:
- Supporters gave kudos to General Mills for achieving their 20% sodium reduction goal in 7 of 10 food categories in January 2017. AHA sodium pledgers sent more than 1,400 letters to the CEO of General Mills through this action!
- You told Kraft-Heinz to Break Up with Salt! In March, 2016, more than 2,000 letters were sent to the CEO of Kraft-Heinz. * Pledgers wrote more than 1,400 letters to the President of Mars Food in May 2016 to celebrate their sodium reduction commitment and their leadership role in supporting the release of FDA voluntary sodium targets.
- You have sent more than 7,000 letters to nine food companies asking to keep sodium reduction a priority in the FDA sodium targets. Letters have been sent to ConAgra, General Mills, Nestle, Mars, Panera, PepsiCo, Subway, Tyson, and Unilever.
- The CEOs of McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Duncan Hines, and Aunt Jemima have received more than 5,000 letters from you asking to make sodium reduction a priority
...and you can still take action! Visit our action center to make a difference in this movement.
With more people wanting healthier options, perhaps more cities will adopt sodium warning labels on their menus!