a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Salt Shockers WebMD Slideshow: High-Sodium Surprises

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Sodium: A Good Thing...in Moderation

We may malign the salt shaker, but sodium plays an important role in maintaining the body's fluid balance. It’s essential for muscles and nerves to function properly. But most of us consume too much of it. FDA guidelines call for less than 2,400 mg of sodium per day -- about 1 teaspoon of table salt. Surprisingly, most of our salt intake doesn’t come from the salt shaker; it’s hidden in many of the foods we buy at the grocery store.

Frozen Dinners They’re quick. They’re easy. And they’re loaded with sodium. A 5-oz. frozen turkey and gravy dinner packs 787 mg. of sodium. Tip: A “lighter” version may have less salt, but it’s no guarantee. Read the labels to be sure. It’s possible that “lighter” refers to fat only.

Ready-to-Eat Cereals They seem safe enough, right? Look closer. Some brands of corn flakes have up to 266 mg of sodium per cup. Some brands of raisin bran have up to 342 mg of sodium per cup. Tip: Puffed rice and puffed wheat are sodium free. Mix half of your favorite cereal with half of a sodium-free choice. Or look for companies that make low-sodium cereals.

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