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Consumer Reports Identifies Foods With Surprisingly High Levels of Sodium
Date:12/2/2008

Shaking salt from the diet isn't easy; Consumer Reports urges consumers to check food labels. Plus, tips for preparing dishes low in sodium.

YONKERS, N.Y., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report from Consumer Reports found that sodium lurks in foods that consumers might not think to check, and warns that lower-fat foods can be higher in sodium than their full-fat counterparts. The full report is available in the January 2009 issue of Consumer Reports and online atwww.ConsumerReportsHealth.org.

Consumer Reports analyzed 37 supermarket staples and found large amounts of sodium in unexpected places -- including some foods that don't necessarily taste salty at all. For example, a cup of Kellogg's Raisin Bran contains 350 milligrams (mg) of sodium, while a half-cup of Friendship 1% low-fat cottage cheese has 360 mg. And a single Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain White Bagel is loaded with 440 mg. Consumer Reports advises consumers to check food labels for sodium content. These types of sodium surprises present challenges for people charged with cooking for the holidays.

Dietary guidelines recommend that healthy adults get no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, the amount in just 1 teaspoon of table salt. People with hypertension, those middle-aged and older, and African-Americans should aim for less than that -- no more than 1,500 mg. But the average American ingests 2,900 to 4,300 mg daily. A high-sodium diet might increase a person's risk of high blood pressure (and subsequent heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke), as well as risk of asthma, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer. According to the American Medical Association, a 50 percent reduction in the nation's dietary sodium intake could save 150,000 lives a year.


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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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