On average, Canadians consume approximately 3400 mg of sodium per day.
Where does it all come from?
- 77 % of sodium intake comes from processed packaged foods.
- 11% comes from salt added at the table and during cooking.
How much sodium should we have?
- Hypertension Canada and the World Health Organization recommend reducing your intake of sodium down to 2000 mg/day.
How to do it?
- Prepare more food at home and limit eating out or away from the home.
- Eat less processed or packaged foods.
- Use spices for flavourings instead of salt (vinegar, pepper, lemon, herbs, Mrs Dash TM).
- Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
- Limit snack foods.
- Limit condiments and sauces.
- Choose smaller portion sizes of the foods that are higher in sodium.
What about sea salt, Himalayan or pink salt?
- Gourmet salts are made of 100% sodium chloride, therefore just like regular table salt they have the same negative effect on blood pressure and health.
How do I know if a product is low in sodium?
- Label reading is a great way to help to monitor your salt.
- Look at the ingredient list: if any words such as Salt, Sodium and Soda are listed within the first 3 ingredients or listed more than 3 times on the ingredient list, you probably want to choose another product!
- Look for labels such as “sodium free” or “low sodium”.
- Choose foods that are 5% or less using the Daily Value on the food label. Click here to learn how to read the food label for sodium using Health Canada’s 5-15%.
What about Salt Substitutes?
- Talk to your health care professionals or pharmacist about whether a salt substitute is right for you.
For more information on Sodium and other tips for Heart Month, check out:
Free Sodium App: Sodium 101: Salt is Everywhere - iTunes
Hypertension of Canada
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Heart Healthy Education Class at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network – call 780-986-6624 to register.