We asked Caroline Dewar, Stouffer’s nutritionist, to tackle some of the most common questions about sodium.
Is too much sodium harmful?
“If your diet is consistently high in sodium there’s a greater chance you’ll develop high blood pressure, which may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke… [And research] shows that lowering sodium consumption to optimal levels could reduce the incidence of stroke and heart disease by as much as 25 percent.”
How much we should get every day?
“Try not to get any more than 2400 mg a day, tops. According to Statistics Canada, most of us get more than 3,000 per day. That’s too much.”
How do I balance my intake during the day?
“Most of us have bigger meals at lunch and dinner, so you might get a little more sodium then, and less at breakfast. Figure out what makes more sense for you. And don’t forget snacks – they can be sodium culprits that we aren’t even counting.”
What’s the difference between sodium and salt?
“Sodium is a nutrient found in table salt. Table salt, also known as sodium chloride, contains about 40 percent sodium.”
How do I know how much sodium I’m getting?
“Keep in mind that sodium comes in many forms – another reason to read the nutrition facts panel on packaging. It will tell you the total amount of sodium from all ingredients. Compare different products to find the best sodium levels.”
What do the numbers mean?
“This is the total amount of sodium in the product. It’s for one portion, or in the case of Stouffer’s, the whole meal. The percentage next to this number tells how much of that total you’re getting. Keep in mind that your limit for the day should be 2400 mg.”