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Where’s the salt?

Where’s the salt?

Last week, the government unveiled the 2010 issue of the Dietary Guidelines,  and watching our sodium content took center stage. So we know that we need to get rid of the salt shaker. Salt is composed of sodium and chloride, and 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2300 mg sodium. Sounds like a little or  lot!? Just one teaspoon of salt contains more sodium than half of us should eat for the entire day.

Under the new guidelines, nearly half of the US population should consume less than 1500 mg sodium. This includes adults 51 and over, children, African Americans, and those with hypertension, kidney disease and diabetes. The rest of us can have up to 2300 mg of sodium per day.

Clearly, we need to ditch f the salt shaker! But sodium is lurking in so many other commonly consumed foods. Here is the sodium content found in some  favorites foods:


A bagel with lox and cream cheese contains 1905 mg sodium. The bagel alone contains over 600 mg! Who would have thought?


A turkey sandwich on rye with mustard and mayo contains 1948 mg sodium


A pasta portion with tomato sauce contains 1260 mg sodium, and that is for the meatless version!!

That totals 5113 mg! Oy. And that is without snacks.

Here are some tips:

Get rid of the salt shaker.

Avoid processed foods.

Choose MORE fresh fruits and vegetables which are naturally very low in sodium.

Read food labels for the sodium content.

Cook at home more often and use oregano, black pepper, and other spices.

Let’s hope the food industry reduces the sodium in chips and other packaged foods. Some food companies have, indeed, made such promises. But remember, a reduced-sodium bag of chips is not health food and still contains sodium, and an apple (or another food not found in a package) would be a healthier choice.

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