Test Your Sodium Smarts
You may be surprised to learn how much sodium is in many foods. Sodium, including sodium chloride or salt, can come from natural sources or be added to foods. High–sodium diets are linked to increased blood pressure and a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends that you aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
When you buy prepared and packaged foods, you can read the amount of sodium in the product per serving, in milligrams (mg), by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel. Read the Nutrition Facts panel for the overall nutrition information including calorie, fat and sodium content before you make food choices. Select and prepare foods with little or no salt.
Test your sodium smarts by answering these 10 questions about which food products are higher in sodium — we’ll calculate your score at the end. Most examples use the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, which shows the average nutrient values of multiple commercially prepared food products of the same type. Sodium amounts can vary depending on the brand, which is why we are showing averages. We’ve chosen “regular” or “traditional” varieties of foods as examples to illustrate their high sodium content. When you shop, we recommend that you select sodium free, low–sodium, or reduced–sodium foods whenever they are available to reduce your sodium consumption.