Many of you may not know, Americans consume the highest amount of sodium in the world. More than 75% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods—not the salt shaker. Most processed foods may not taste salty, but 9 times out of 10, they’re loaded up with massive amounts of sodium. In this fast paced word, all of us running from point A to point B to get everything done during the day, it is difficult to make a healthy lunch. Majority of the time, we find ourselves reaching for something quick and easy to heat up.
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended daily intake of sodium should be less than 2,000 mg per day. A reduction in sodium intake will reduce blood pressure and when blood pressure is lowered, a person has a smaller risk of developing heart disease. A low-sodium diet can also contribute to a decrease in the risk for stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease. Sodium may seem hidden in pre-packaged food, especially when a food doesn’t taste salty—this is where nutrition labels come in handy. Pay attention to serving sizes and keep these tips from the Food and Drug Administration in mind:
- 120 mg or less of sodium per serving is pretty low
- 480 mg or more of sodium per serving is high and should be watched out for
- Low sodium means 140 mg of sodium or less per serving, whereas very low sodium means 35 mg or less per serving. To be on the safe side, shoot for foods with very low sodium.
Take 5 this week for 5 foods low in sodium:
- Fresh fruits
- Yogurts (Greek)
The next time you reach for your lunch, Take 5 and read the label.