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February 2012Where’s the sodium?There’s too much in many common foods.9 in 10About 90% of Americansaged 2 years or older eattoo much sodium.44%44% of the sodium we eatcomes from only 10 typesof foods.$20BAbout 90% of Americans eat more sodiumthan is recommended for a healthy diet.*Too much sodium increases a person’srisk for high blood pressure. High bloodpressure often leads to heart disease andstroke. More than 800,000 people die eachyear from heart disease, stroke and othervascular diseases, costing the nation $273billion health care dollars in 2010. Most ofthe sodium we eat comes from processedfoods and foods prepared in restaurants.Sodium is already part of processed foods andcannot be removed. However, manufacturersand restaurants can produce foods with lesssodium. In addition, you can select lowersodium foods when possible and you can cookmore foods yourself, to better control howmuch sodium you eat.* The words salt and sodium are sometimes used interchangeablybecause most of the sodium we eat is in the form of salt (sodiumchloride). Some salts don’t contain sodium.To learn more about how to reduce sodiumSee page 4Reducing the sodiumAmericans eat by 1,200 mgper day on average couldsave up to $20 billion a yearin medical costs.wwwhttp://www.cdc.gov/vitalsignsNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionDivision for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention1

Sodium levels of the same food canvary widely, so choose wisely.This chart shows a range of sodium amounts in differenttypes of food. Serving sizes may vary for some foods, e.g.,bread slices which may be lower in sodium because ofthinner slices.Check the Nutrition Facts label which lists sodium content per serving. For helpreading labels, visit http://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/Sodium_Tip_Sheet.pdf.Food1 slice white bread 80 - 2303 oz turkey breast, deli or pre-packagedluncheon meat4 oz slice frozen pizza, plain cheese,regular crust4 oz slice restaurant pizza, plain cheese,regular crust450 - 1,050370 - 730510 - 7604 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, fresh 40 - 3303 oz chicken strips, restaurant, breaded 430 - 9003 oz chicken nuggets, frozen, breaded 200 - 5701 cup chicken noodle soup, canned prepared 100 - 9401 corn dog, regular 350 - 6201 cheeseburger, fast food restaurant 710 - 1,6901 oz slice American cheese, processed(packaged or deli)Sodium Range(in milligrams)330 - 4601 cup canned pasta with meat sauce 530 - 9805 oz pork with barbecue sauce (packaged) 600 - 1,1201 oz potato chips, plain 50 - 200Sodium LevelsBreakfastEgg and cheese sandwich 760Orange juice, 1 cup 5Coffee, 1 cup 5SnackBanana, medium 1LunchVegetable soup & ½ sandwich combo 1,450Iced tea, , 1 cup unsweetened 10SnackChips (plain) 140DinnerSpaghetti (without added salt) withmeat sauce (1 ½ cup pasta, ¾ cupsauce, 3 oz meat) 380Garden salad with ranch dressing 340Water, 1 cup 10Snack2 Chocolate chip cookies 70Skim Milk, 1 cup 100Total 3,271Sodium(in milligrams*)Sodium adds up quickly in our daily dietAbove is a sample diet of 3 meals and 3 smallsnacks with a total sodium content of more than3,200 mg.SOURCE: US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, NationalNutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24 and currentmanufacturer’s data.Note: Values greater than 10 mg of sodium were rounded to the nearest 10 mg.See the DASH eating plan athttp://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf and otherplans at www.choosemyplate.gov.SOURCE: US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National NutrientDatabase for Standard Reference, Release 24 and current manufacturer’s data.Note: Values were rounded to the nearest 10 mg.3

What Can Be DonePlaces that produce, sell, or servefood can◊◊Consider joining voluntary initiatives to reducesodium such as the National Salt ReductionInitiative (http://www.nyc.gov/health/salt)◊◊Give choices to consumers to help them reducesodium in their diet by:• Stocking lower sodium foods.• Asking food manufacturers to providelower sodium foods.◊◊Make phased reductions in the amount ofsodium they add to foods they sell or serve.◊◊Limit the amount of sodium in food products.◊◊Provide information about sodium in foods.Federal government is◊◊Using the national Million Hearts initiativeto prevent a million heart attacks and strokesover the next 5 years (http://millionhearts.hhs.gov). Reducing sodium in the population is amajor part of this initiative.◊◊Encouraging its agencies and departments toadopt the HHS/GSA or similar procurementguidelines that define how much sodiumthere can be in products that are sold orserved in their facilities (www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/guidelines/foodservice-guidelines.htm).◊◊Improving data collection on sodium,including the amount of sodium peopleconsume, and their knowledge, behaviors andhealth outcomes.wwwhttp://www.cdc.gov/vitalsignsState and local health departments can◊◊Develop and implement efforts that:• Increase public awareness about theamount of sodium added to processedand packaged foods.• Increase public awareness of the healthoutcomes of a high-sodium diet.• Help reduce sodium in people’s diets.◊◊Encourage reductions in the amount of sodiumin foods purchased in cafeterias and vendingmachines.Everyone can◊◊Choose to purchase healthy options and talkwith your grocer or favorite restaurant aboutstocking lower sodium food choices.◊◊Read the Nutrition Facts label while shoppingto find the lowest sodium options of yourfavorite foods.◊◊Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables andfrozen fruits and vegetables without sauce.◊◊Limit processed foods high in sodium.◊◊When eating out, request lower sodium options.◊ ◊ Support initiatives that reduce sodium in foodsin cafeterias and vending machines.For more information, please contactTelephone: 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)TTY: 1-888-232-6348E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.govWeb: www.cdc.govCenters for Disease Control and Prevention1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30333Publication date: 2/7/20124CS229194-B

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