- Sodium/salt-free: Contains less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- Very low-sodium: Contains 35 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.
- Low sodium: Contains 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.
- Reduced sodium: The sodium has been reduced by at least 35 percent from the regular version.
- Light in sodium: The sodium has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version.
- Unsalted or no salt added: No salt is added during the processing of these foods.
Salt is one of the oldest and most commonly used seasonings around the globe. It takes foods from bland to brilliant. It makes our bodies function and thrive. It’s abundant and inexpensive, but it’s also overused. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sodium for the average adult is 2,360 milligrams, though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams. Sounds like a lot—but don’t be fooled. Those numbers equal about one teaspoon of salt (or less) for the entire day, and there is sodium in pretty much everything we eat. In fact, 80 percent of the sodium we get comes not from the shaker on the table, but from the foods we eat. Currently, American adults are consuming more than 4,000 milligrams per day, due in large part to the presence of so many processed foods in our diets. The second biggest culprit of sodium overload is the food served in restaurants. Sodium, however, is vital for a healthy body. It helps maintain water balance and pH levels and enables cells to draw in nutrients. Excessive sweating can lead to salt cravings as an indication of a loss of sodium, dehydration, and/or an electrolyte imbalance. (Be sure to hydrate sufficiently before, during, and after rigorous workouts.) In excessive amounts, salt can be dangerous to your health. It can contribute to hypertension, heart disease, and may cause the body to retain too much water. To help avoid excess sodium in your diet, dieticians and doctors suggest caution when adding salt to your foods. Instead use herbs and salt-free seasonings to flavor your foods. If you must add salt, do so sparingly; a little goes a long way. At Sprouts, we offer many minimally processed foods, but even natural food products can go overboard with the sodium. So be sure to read labels and understand the terminology: