article for more background.
Almost all of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods. There are some foods that naturally contain sodium, but for the most part, anytime we shop for food in the market or go out to eat we are eating sodium. In an article from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) about how to reduce sodium, the physician they interviewed said,
"...75 to 80 percent of the sodium we consume is added to food before we open a package or walk into a restaurant. So unless you make everything—including breads, crackers, cereals, soup, pizza, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing—from scratch, you can’t easily avoid the salt."The reality is that we are hardly cooking anything from scratch. What most people do at home is not generally cooking, we're heating. We need to learn to cook again. I wrote about cooking at home earlier but another great resource is from this blog Inspired RD. She has great recipes that will truly inspire you.
Until we learn to cook we need to do two things:
- We need to read the food labels when we shop. When you pick up a food label, start by looking at the serving size of a product. Next move down to see how many milligrams (mg) of sodium a product has. Try to find foods that have 300 mg of sodium or less per serving.
- We need the government's help to pressure the food industry to use less salt. Marion Nestle wrote a great piece on this very topic you should read. In addition to this, read the Institute of Medicine's report on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. One of the key recommendations is to have the FDA change and regulate how much sodium can be safely added to foods.