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Meet the Salty Six and Tell the USDA Your Thoughts on Nutrition in Schools


Happy Nutrition Month!  Throughout March we are going to provide you with some useful nutrition information to help you become a healthier you!  Healthy advocates are happy advocates, and happy advocates are more energized in helping to spread the word about the issues that are so dear to our heart.

Today we want to introduce the Salty Six—common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium that can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.  Having high levels of sodium in your diet can lead to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure.  Sodium overload is a major health problem in the United States.  The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.  More than 75% of our sodium consumption comes from processed and restaurant foods.

Meet the Salty Six:

  1. Breads & Rolls: Some foods that you eat several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sedum even though each serving may not seem high in sodium.  Check the labels to find lower-sodium varieties.
  2. Cold Cuts & Cured Meats: One 2 oz. serving, or 6 thin slices, of deli meat can contain as much as half of your daily recommended dietary sodium.  Look for lower sodium varieties of your favorite lunch meats.
  3. Pizza: A slice of pizza with several toppings can contain more than half of your daily recommended dietary sodium.  Limit the cheese and add more veggies to your next slice.
  4. Poultry: Sodium levels in poultry can vary based on preparation methods.  You will find a wide range of sodium in poultry products, so it is important to choose wisely.
  5. Soup: Sodium in one cup of canned soup can range from 100 to as much as 940 milligrams—more than half of your daily recommended intake.  Check the labels to find lower sodium varieties.
  6. Sandwiches: A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100 percent of your daily suggested dietary sodium.  Try half a sandwich with a side salad instead.

To learn more about the Salty Six visit the American Heart Association’s website by clicking here.

During Nutrition Month take some time to visit the Action Center and tell the USDA that you support the new proposed nutrition standards for foods sold in á la carte lines, vending machines, school stores, and snack bars in schools, also known as competitive foods.  Click here to take action now.

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