A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that the amount of sodium in processed and packaged foods commercialized in the US had decreased over the past 15 years. It doesn’t happen very often that the Americans should follow healthy trends, but it seems that the situation is changing for better.
There is now less sodium in our foods
Researchers from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney and the University of North Carolina gathered data from 2000 to 2014 on the amount of sodium consumed by Americans. They discovered that, in 2014, packaged foods contained 12 percent less sodium than at the beginning of the study.
Consuming as few sodium as possible is essential for the heart’s health, since it contributes to the increase of blood pressure. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services advises people to consume only 2,300 mg of sodium per day. However, CDC reports show that Americans consume around 3,400 mg of sodium per day, starting from an early age.
People do not take all the sodium they consume from salt, but around 90 percent of it is acquired under the form of salt intake. Also, 75 percent of the sodium people consume comes from packaged foods, processed foods, or restaurant meals.
Snacks and dips are on top of the list with less sodium
The study looked at 1.5 million foods bought by 172,042 families. The participants had to scan the bar code of the purchased products, which registered their type and the nutritional value they contained. Researchers discovered 10 products with decreased quantities of sodium.
On average, sodium decreased by around 400 mg/day in all products, but those which ended up with the lowest levels were dips, sauces, condiments, and snacks. These foods now contain around 100 mg less of sodium.
However, the US still needs a more dedicated effort of sodium reduction in processed foods. It is hard for people to opt for a diet with low levels of these substance if the food supply contains plenty of it. Therefore, the country needs a revised food plan to stop the high incidence of heart disease-related deaths.
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