The “Salt Calculator” Has Arrived!

The “Salt Calculator” Has Arrived!

Now Americans can take that extra step at reducing their sodium intake when eating out or cooking at home. A new online “salt calculator” jointly developed by a Toronto dietitian aims to encourage Canadians to curb the unhealthy quantities of sodium gulped down daily. So, why not Americans too, right?

The results can be staggering, said a University of Toronto postdoctoral fellow who developed the calculator with researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

“Many people are surprised about how high their sodium intake is,” she said, adding that more than three-quarters of consumed sodium is “hidden” in processed foods and prepared meals.

“It was really to engage people about the amount of sodium in their diet,” “It’s really making high sodium intake personal.”

On average, Canadians consume about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, more than double Health Canada’s recommended “adequate intake” level. This can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke, heart problems, kidney disease and other health problems like osteoporosis and stomach cancer, according to Health Canada.

There are hopes this calculator can act as a wake-up call to many who are unaware they are consuming risky levels sodium, and serve as a tool for doctors to bring up the issue with their patients. It also breaks down the sources of one’s salt consumption, suggesting what changes will help bring it down.

“People cannot make effective dietary changes unless they are aware that they personally are consuming high amounts of sodium,” she said. “Through the calculator, we do hope to show people that.”

Salt Calculator article

Salt Calculator

The calculator asks questions regarding the user, like age and gender. Then dives right into everyone’s “hidden secrets” and asks questions regarding eating out:

  • Lunch/dinner from quick-service or fast-food restaurants (eat-in or take-out)
  • Lunch/dinner from table-service restaurants (eat-in or take-out)
  • Breakfast from quick-service or fast-food restaurants (eat-in or take-out
  • Breakfast from table-service restaurants (eat-in or take-out)

Other areas of interest that the calculator takes into consideration are:

How often you eat these foods prepared or eaten at home

  • Bread products
  • Baked goods
  • Breakfast cereal and hot instant cereal

Processed meats, fish, and poultry

  • Processed meat products
  • Frozen or pre-seasoned meat, poultry, and fish
  • Canned tuna and salmon & smoked fish

Cheese & Dairy

  • Cheese eaten alone or with other food
  • Milk as a hot or cold drink & milk in cereal

Canned vegetables

  • Canned vegetables, legumes, pickles & olives

Added salt

  • Add a dash or shake of salt to food

Spreads, Condiments, Dips Sauces

  • Condiments & dips
  • Prepared sauces & marinades

Prepared Meals, Sides & Soups

  • Pasta and rice dishes with sauce/seasonings, and packaged mashed/scalloped potatoes and stuffing dishes
  • Frozen appetizers & side dishes
  • Frozen entrees & meals
  • Canned chili, stew & pasta or baked beans with sauce
  • Pizza or pizza snacks
  • Soup, broth, oriental noodles & bouillon

Salty Snacks

  • Salty snack foods i.e., potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, other nuts.

salt calc

Advertisements

The ‘Salty Six’?

The “Salty Six”- Which Foods to Avoid?

The “Salty Six”, as the American Heart Association is calling them, are extremely common everyday foods that people do not realize are packed with a high amount of sodium, which severely increases a person’s risk of developing a stroke or heart problems. Now, the AHA is revealing easy ways to lower salt consumption, even on the go. While shopping, consumers can look for the Heart-Check Mark to know which foods have been approved by the AHA as having a healthy amount of sodium.

In the U.S., salt consumption is a major issue. A new study by AHA and ASA revealed that the average American has a daily salt intake level of around 3,400 milligrams, while the recommended amount is 1,500 milligrams. This is mostly due to processed foods and restaurant foods which account for 75% of our salt consumption.

The 6 following foods are the main sources of sodium in society’s diet today:

  • Bread and rolls – Bread is packed with carbs and calories, but according to the new report, it is also high in salt, even though it does not taste salty. One piece of bread can have more than 230 milligrams of sodium, which accounts for 15% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Cold cuts and cured meats – Although cold cuts are normally seen as a healthy way to go, deli meat and pre-packaged turkey can hold up to 1,050 milligrams of sodium, and it is added to most cooked meats to keep them from spoiling.
  • Pizza – Pizza contains fat, calories and cholesterol, but according to the report, it also contains high levels of sodium, around 760 milligrams per slice.
  • Poultry – The common belief is that chicken is not bad for you. However, sodium levels found in poultry are always different, depending on how it is prepared. The best option is to stick with grilled, lean, skinless chicken, even though these kinds still have added sodium.
  • Soup – Although soup is not considered unhealthy, especially because Moms use it as a remedy when children are sick, it can contain up to 940 milligrams per serving.
  • Sandwiches – Whether it be a hamburger, tuna sandwich, or a grilled cheese, the bread of a sandwich and cured meats both contain sodium, and when ketchup or mustard is added to the mix, a sandwich could have as much as 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241365.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252566.php

soup- sodium

salt