Isabelle Huot, Docteure en nutrition démystifie le sodium et fait le point sur les manières de réduire sa consommation. Un article en collaboration avec la Boulangerie St-Méthode.

Collaboration with St-Méthode Bakery

Did you know that 77% of the sodium you consume doesn’t come from your salt shaker but rather from processed foods? Knowing that your daily sodium intake should be kept in check, making wise choices at the grocery store is a must! Here are my tips to help you reduce your salt consumption…

Sodium is a nutrient that is naturally present in table salt and in food. Sodium is essential to good health, but when an excessive amount of it is consumed, it can lead to high blood pressure and to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease.

The average healthy adult requires 1,500 mg of sodium per day—that is, the equivalent of 3 ml of table salt (about a ½ teaspoon). It is further recommended to avoid exceeding 2,300 mg of sodium per day—about 5 ml of table salt (1 teaspoon). Yet, according to the Health Canada report Sodium Intake of Canadians in 2017, Canadians consume an average of 2,760 mg of sodium every day, which is well above an individual’s daily need and over the recommended consumption limit.

Health Canada’s Sodium Intake of Canadians in 2017 also reveals the principal sources of sodium in the Canadian diet. These foods include, among others, baked goods and pastry products, cold cuts, and cheese, as well as sauces, dips, and condiments. Highly processed foods are therefore the biggest culprits when it comes to sodium content in the food Canadians consume.

Reduced sodium intake made easy

  1. Read nutrition facts labels to seek out foods that contain a percent daily value (%DV) of sodium that is less than 15%.
  2. Cut back your consumption of highly processed foods—which are often very high in sodium—by choosing to cook your own food more often.

  3. Check the sodium content in bakery products—even though they may not taste salty, they are big contributors to sodium intake.

  4. Choose products that contain no more than 140 mg of sodium per serving size. With various healthy breads in its product line, St-Méthode Bakery notably offers several loaves that contain 140 mg or less of sodium per 2-slice portion (that is, 6% DV). This is true of the multi-grain loaves—100% Whole Grain with Sprouted Wheat, Quinoa, 100% Whole Wheat—in the Les Grains St-Méthode range.

  5. Use herbs and spices to flavour your meals. This lets you cut back on the amount of salt you use without compromising on taste.

  6. Rinse canned legumes and vegetables. This helps eliminate part of the sodium content.

  7. Opt for homemade meals rather than frequenting restaurants. For lunch, bring your own food to the office instead of resorting to fast food options.

Summing up:

  • Sodium is essential to good health, but daily intake often goes well beyond the recommended limit.

  • Too much sodium increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • You can limit your sodium consumption by eating fewer processed foods and shopping for products that contain 140 mg or less of sodium per serving size.

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