Food Nutrition Information Key to Avoiding Sodium, High Blood Pressure
Food labels can be a great tool you can use to make wise selections when shopping. By choosing healthier options you reduce your risk for certain conditions, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure which lead to heart disease. For example, you can use the food label to select foods low in sodium to prevent high blood pressure and low in saturated fat to prevent increases in cholesterol.
You probably already know you should be using food labels, but what's the point if you don't know what you're looking for? Let me give you a few guidelines you can follow to make food labels work for you.
1. Select foods with less SODIUM than the following amounts per serving:
Frozen or packaged dinners - 500 mg
Microwave Popcorn - 350 mg
Desserts & Cookies - 250 mg
Cheese - 200 mg
Chips, Pretzels - 200 mg
Bread, Crackers, Rolls - 140 mg
2. Select foods with less TOTAL FAT than the following amounts per serving:
Frozen dinners - 10 g
Cheese - 5 g
Microwave Popcorn - 5 g
Lunch Meat - 3 g
Soup - 3 g
Snacks - 3 g
Bread, Crackers, Rolls - 3 g
Frozen yogurt or Sherbet - 2 g
Remember, when reading labels you must consider the serving size. A serving size is not necessarily an entire can of food. If a can contains 3 servings and you eat 1 can, you need to multiply the sodium or fat per serving times 3. For example, I have a can of chicken noodle soup with 920 mg of sodium per serving and 6 servings per can. If I eat the entire can, I consume 5520 mg of sodium (920 x 6). If you want a refresher on how much sodium you need everyday, review the post - Lower Your Blood Pressure, Cut Sodium Intake.