Food In Canada

Top sodium-rich foods include breads: report

By Food in Canada staff   

Food Trends Research & Development

A new report from the CDC in the U.S. lists the tops sources of sodium in consumers’ diet, pointing to breads and rolls as one of the biggest culprits

Atlanta, Ga. – In its latest Vital Signs report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. found that about 90 per cent of Americans consume more sodium than recommended.

But some of the sources of that sodium aren’t what most consumers would expect.

One of the top sources of sodium, in fact the first one the CDC lists, is breads and rolls.

Other top sources of sodium in the diet include: cold cuts and cured meats (such as deli or packaged ham, or turkey), pizza, fresh and processed poultry, soups, sandwiches such as cheeseburgers, cheese, pasta dishes (not including macaroni and cheese, which has its own category), meat-mixed dishes such as meat loaf with tomato sauce, and snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn.


Americans consume on average about 3,300 mg of sodium each day. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend consumers limit their sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day and about six in 10 adults should further limit sodium to 1,500 mg per day.

About 65 per cent of that sodium comes from food bought at retail stores, while 25 per cent comes from food consumed in restaurants.

The CDC says the challenge is that not all foods are created equal and understanding sodium in foods can be confusing. At retail, consumers can compare brands. For example, sodium in chicken noodle soups can vary by as much as 840 mg per serving depending on the brand. At restaurant level, though, it can be difficult for consumers to tell how much sodium is in their food.

What can be done?

The CDC says the food manufacturing and foodservice industries can join voluntary initiatives to reduce sodium.

Both industries can also give consumers choices by offering reduced sodium options, making phased reductions in the amount of sodium they add to foods, limited the sodium in foods and providing consumers with more information about sodium in their foods.

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