That’s Salty! (a.k.a. Labels 101-b!)

November 26, 2009 at 8:16 am Leave a comment

I have written before about the problems with processed foods and my concern is that it is difficult for moms & dads to know how to read a food label and make a good choice.  This time I am going to focus on sodium, also known as salt.

Did you know that children’s cereals have 60% more sodium than cereals marketed to adults?  While salt is a necessary part of our diets, it is present in all foods and really doesn’t need to be added.  It is added however because of its ability to help preserve food and heighten flavour.  That is also why salt is in many recipes.

If you are using salt at home; buy sea salt.  Sea salt is made from evaporated salt water, while table salt is from underground salt deposits.  Table salt is processed to remove trace elements, also iodine and anti-clumping materials are added.   Iodine is a trace element and it is present in dairy, seafood, and sea vegetables.  Iodine is also naturally present in sea salt, in lower amounts. It is best to get iodine from these foods rather than table salt. An easy way to get iodine in your diet is to buy a sea vegetable like kombu.  Throw one piece of kombu in your pasta or rice water.  While the pasta or rice is cooking, the grain will absorb the minerals.  Remove it before eating.  You will never taste it.

When you are looking at processed foods look at the % daily value for sodium on the label. Remember that in general, Canadians eat more than double the recommended daily amount of sodium.

  • 5% is low sodium
  • 10% sodium is high
  • 20% sodium is too high
–77% of sodium in our diet is from restaurants & processed food
–11% occurs naturally in food
–12% is added at the table or in cooking

Entry filed under: Alternative Health, Moms Need to Know, Natural Parenting, Reading Labels. Tags: , , , , .

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