FDA recommends less salt in processed, packaged foods

Written by on November 2, 2021

FDA recommends less salt in processed, packaged foods

By Brittany Sweeney
November 2, 2021

Packaged items and convenience foods are primary sources of salt in diet, according to a Lehigh Valley Health Network dietitian. (File photo | WLVR)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Food and Drug Administration is encouraging companies to reduce the amount of salt in packaged, processed, and prepared foods.

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The FDA’s new sodium guidance is voluntary, aimed at gradually reducing a person’s salt intake over time.

Suzanne Ickes is a clinical in-patient dietician with Sodexo, the food service provider contracted by Lehigh Valley Health Network

She says that packaged foods have been a culprit all along.

“A teaspoon of salt, that’s 2,300 milligrams right there. That’s what we’re supposed to take in for a whole day.  Some food items are extremely high. So for example, canned soup, we know that those canned soups are high,” Ickes said. 

A cup of canned soup can get you to almost a third of the way to that day’s sodium intake, she said, and the more sodium the greater the risk for high blood pressure.

“Seventy percent of the salt that we consume doesn’t come from the salt shaker. It comes from the convenience foods and restaurant foods that we consume,” she said.

Spices can add flavor without the sodium, she added, you can choose onion and garlic powder instead of onion and garlic salt.

Ickes says the easiest way to reduce the amount of salt in your diet is to avoid packaged items and convenience foods as much as possible.

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