Jul 24, 2019

Alarming levels of Sodium in packaged foods

Based on FSSAI's draft notification, I had earlier analyzed the sugar levels in various, popular packaged foods. If you haven't seen it, do check it out.

This post is all about sodium. As much as we give attention to sugar levels in packaged foods, we need to look for sodium quantities too.

According to WHO's report on "sodium intake for adults and children",
Elevated sodium intake has been associated with a number of NCDs (including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke), and decreasing sodium intake may reduce blood pressure and the risk of associated NCDs

Higher sodium intake was associated with higher risk of incident stroke, fatal stroke and fatal coronary heart disease.

WHO recommends a reduction to <2 g/day sodium (5 g/day salt) in adults (strong recommendation).

The recommended maximum level of intake of 2 g/day sodium in adults should be adjusted downward based on the energy requirements of children relative to those of adults.

From my "Master List", I looked for the products with high sodium levels and compared the values with the thresholds prescribed by FSSAI in the draft notification



 As you can see, the values are alarmingly higher. In all these examples, it is more than double/triple the upper threshold values.

    Many brands don't even list sodium in their nutrition facts table. If and when the draft notification comes into effect, sodium will be made mandatory. Until then, it is better to avoid salty foods that don't list sodium in nutrition facts. 


    The brands listed in the above table are only a handful of examples. Do check the sodium levels in other similar brands (Amul cheese, Sunfeast Yippee noodles, etc).




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