Family Fitness IdeasNeed a little inspiration?
Sign up here to receive
the fitness information
you need when it comes
to family fun, nutrition and
sports and fitness!
Be Salt Savvy
Salt is the primary source of sodium in our diets and shows up in a wide variety of foods – even those that you might not think of as “salty” like ketchup, soft drinks and cereals. Sodium is a leading contributor to high blood pressure which adds to the risk of heart disease and stroke, and has also been linked to an increased risk for osteoporosis and cancer.
According to the 2011 USDA Dietary Guidelines, adults should consume less than 2,300mg of sodium daily – less for those who are at risk of high blood pressure. Children should consume less salt than adults:
• Less than 1,500mg for 1-3-year olds
• Less than 1,900mg for those 4-8
• Less than 2,200mg for 9-13
• Less than 2,300mg for 14-18-year-olds
One teaspoon of table salt is equivalent to 2,300mg of sodium. Just one teaspoon. Processed and restaurant foods deliver 77% of the sodium in the average American’s diet. Only 10-11% is added from salt shakers on the table.
Monitor your family’s intake
Read nutrition labels on packaged foods, focusing on the serving size.
• Look at the “% DV” sodium or sodium chloride content
• If it’s listed as 20% or more – avoid the product
5 – 20% items should be served with caution and portion sizes monitored carefully
• Items with up to 5% DV are low sodium and acceptable
No Salt Added” or “Unsalted” does not mean sodium-free since some foods contain
naturally occurring sodium. It simply means no salt was added during processing.
Example: Unsalted butter
Reduced” or “Less Sodium” products must contain at least 25% less sodium than the
original item or a competitor’s product.
Example: Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce
Light in Sodium” or “Lightly Salted” products must contain 50% less than the original
item or a competitor’s product.
Example: Lays Lightly Salted Potato Chips
Low Sodium” foods may only have 140mg or less natural or added sodium per serving.
Example: Nabisco Wheat Thins Hint of Salt
• Take the salt shaker off the table.
• Flavor foods with herbs, spices, garlic and lemon juice instead of salt.
Build more natural, low-sodium foods into your diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole
grains and beans.
• Replace salty snacks with unsalted crackers, nuts and fruits.
• Avoid processed food as often as possible.
• Select reduced sodium or low sodium packaged foods.
Ask that your restaurant meals be prepared without salt or with very little salt and ask for
sauces to be served on the side.
Get family nutrition
information from the
of our previously
posted nutrition tips,
to view them.