Sodium (salt) is a mineral that our bodies need every day. Sodium can be found naturally in some foods. It is also added to processed foods to increase flavor and shelf-life. It is recommended that Americans consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium each day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). However, many Americans consume over 3,400 mg of sodium each day. Eating more than the recommended amount of sodium may increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Foods that are usually high in sodium include:

  • Fast Food
  • Snack foods (chips and pretzels)
  • Pizza
  • Cured meats (sausage, hot dogs, salami, and bacon)
  • Cold cuts (deli meat)
  • Canned soup
  • Cheese

Most sodium consumed is found in processed foods and meals eaten outside of the home.

Here are some ways to reduce sodium intake:

  • Choose foods lower in sodium. Look for low-sodium, no salt added, or reduced sodium on the food label.
  • Prepare foods with herbs and spices and little or no added salt
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Rinse canned vegetables and beans before eating to reduce sodium content
  • Cook more meals at home

The current WIC food package provides foods that are low in sodium. For more information on the WIC food package go to WIC Food Packages.

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