Monday, January 27, 2014

CDC release report on reducing salt at restaurants

Americans eat out at fast food or dine-in restaurants four or five times a week. Just one of those meals might contain more than an entire day’s recommended amount of sodium.  CDC has strategies for health departments and restaurants to work together to offer healthier choices for consumers who want to lower their sodium intake.  The report, “From Menu to Mouth: Opportunities for Sodium Reduction in Restaurants,” is published in today’s issue of CDC’s journal, Preventing Chronic Disease.

On average, foods from fast food restaurants contain 1,848 mg of sodium per 1,000 calories and foods from dine-in restaurants contain 2,090 mg of sodium per 1,000 calories. The U. S. Dietary Guidelines recommend the general population limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. 

The report outlines several ways health departments and restaurants have worked together to offer lower-sodium choices:

  • Health department dietitians help restaurants analyze the sodium content of their foods and recommend lower-sodium ingredients.
  • Restaurants clearly post nutrition information, including sodium content, at the order counter and on menus or offer lower-sodium items at lower cost.
  • Health departments and restaurants explain to food service staff why lower sodium foods are healthier and how to prepare them.
To learn more, go to http://www.cdc.gov/salt/ or contact Susan Motika at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.


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