Many Americans choose low-sodium food

Many Americans choose low-sodium food

It's well-known that consuming too much sodium can lead to chronic health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure. In fact, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), elevated blood pressure is one of the top causes of preventable death around the world, and many cases originate in excessive sodium consumption. However, it can be hard to reduce sodium intake in a food culture where many dishes are bought pre-prepared and loaded with salt.

A recent study shows that more Americans are taking action in the supermarket to limit their consumption of sodium. Jessica Levings and colleagues from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at a 2010 survey of 3,700 adults and found that about one-third of them reported making an effort to buy foods that are labeled as low salt or reduced sodium when available. 

However, confusion still keeps some American shoppers from taking action to eat less sodium. Although more than half of those surveyed said that they understood how to read the nutrition facts on food labels, almost one-fifth of survey participants said they were too confused by food labeling to figure out exactly how much salt they were eating. 

The researchers wrote in their conclusion, "Food manufacturers can meet this demand [for low sodium foods] by producing food items that are lower in sodium and including this information on the front of their packages."

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