Sodium and Food Labels – What Does it All Mean?

I have a story to share about sodium and food labels.

I was at the grocery store the other day and was proud of myself for selecting the one with “reduced sodium” on the front. Way to go, me! I’ve been reading labels more and more after my doctor told me to eat less sodium in my diet because my blood pressure is too high. 

Let’s get on with the story; there was a plot twist when I heated up my soup! That is when I had extra time to read more of the label and flipped to the nutrition facts on the back. This soup had over 1,000mg of sodium! That is a lot considering my goal is around 1,500mg per day. I looked into this further and realized that “reduced” does not mean “low.” The actual guideline is that “reduced” means “at least 25% less sodium than the original”. Ah ha. 

While I did consume less sodium than I usually would have, I still was not on track for my goal. Here’s a table I found pretty helpful: 



I’m not letting this get me down. I’m going to keep flipping the labels and be more knowledgeable. Check with your doctor for any specific sodium recommendations. Then I’d recommend a sightseeing adventure in your pantry. See if you can find any of the above phrases and then check out the sodium content on the nutrition facts. Find anything interesting?

Source: https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-education-resources-materials/sodium-your-diet#:~:text=Americans%20eat%20on%20average%20about,recommended%20limits%20are%20even%20lower.

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