- Does your body need sodium? Yes or no?
- Is there a direct relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure? Yes or no?
- Does most of the sodium that Americans eat come from salt added at the table?Yes or no?
- AHA believes that most healthy Americans should eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. How much sodium, on average, do you think Americans ages 2 and older are getting? (A)1500mg (B) 2300mg (C) 3500mg(D) 5000mg
- Which of these foods is NOT one of the top three sources of sodium in Americans’ diets? (A)Bread&rolls (B) Pizza (C) Cured meat& cold cuts (D) Chips&pretzels
- Are kosher salt and sea salt lower-sodium alternatives to table salt? Yes or no?
- Do some over-the-counter and prescription medicines contain sodium? Yes or no?
- My blood pressure is normal. Do I need to watch how much sodium I eat? Yes or no?
- Can taste preferences really change to favor foods with less sodium? Yes or no?
- Which of the following ingredients can you use to replace some or all of the salt when cooking? (A)Citrus juice, such as lemons and limes (B) Vinegar, such as balsamic (C) Herbs and Spices (D) All of the above
Sodium Quiz: Answer Sheet
- Yes. Sodium is an essential nutrient that controls blood pressure and helps your nerves and muscles work properly. You need the right amount — but not too much — to stay healthy.
- Yes. Sodium helps regulate fluids and blood pressure. Too much makes your body retain water, which puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet can help you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
- No. About 75 percent of dietary sodium comes from processed foods. Salt added at the table makes up about 6 percent
- (C) More than 3,400 mg. Many foods you find at the store have a lot of sodium. Different brands of the same food often have different sodium amounts, so compare nutrition labels and choose the product with the least amount of sodium you can find in your store. Instead of seasoning your food with salt, try using citrus juices, vinegars, or herbs and spices. When eating out, check restaurant websites for nutrition information, including the sodium content of foods. You can also ask your server to help you find foods on the menu that have less sodium, or ask for your dish to be prepared without added salt.
- (B) Chips and pretzels. The top three sources of dietary sodium are breads and rolls, cured meats and cold cuts, and pizza. To cut down on sodium, read the labels on prepared and packaged foods. Look for words like “salt” (which is sodium chloride), “soda” and “sodium” (it might appear as an ingredient such as sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate [MSG], or sodium benzoate). Lots of foods have sodium, even those that don’t taste salty. The total sodium shown on the Nutrition Facts label includes the sodium from salt, plus the sodium from any other sodium-containing ingredient in the product.
- No. Table salt, kosher salt and most sea salts contain about 40% sodium. Kosher salts and sea salts come in different textures and flavors but usually contain about the same amount of sodium by weight as table salt. Some varieties of sea salt may claim to have less sodium. You can check the Nutrition Facts label to compare how a given sea salt product compares to table salt, which has about 575 mg/sodium per ¼ teaspoon.
- Yes. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications have high levels of sodium. Look at the ingredient list and warning statement to see if the product has sodium. A statement of sodium content must appear on labels of antacids containing 5 milligrams or more per dosage unit. For prescription drugs, you may not be able to tell if it has sodium by looking at the bottle. If in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication is OK for you.
- Yes. Even for people who don’t have high blood pressure, eating less sodium can make a big difference in controlling your blood pressure as you age. About 90 percent of American adults are expected to develop high blood pressure over their lifetimes! Cutting back on your sodium now can also reduce your risk of developing other conditions, like kidney disease, associated with eating too much sodium.
- Yes. As you begin to cut the sodium you eat, your taste preferences can change so that you begin to prefer foods with less sodium. Foods that used to taste just right may begin to taste too salty. And, you will begin to enjoy the true flavor of foods.
- (D) All of the above. There is a rich world of creative and flavorful alternatives to salt. When you’re cooking at home, experiment with herbs, spices, vinegars, and citrus juices. Remember to check the labels, because some herb and spice blends may contain sodium.
1-4 correct answers: Uh oh! Is too much salt breaking your heart? You may need to re-evaluate your relationship!
5-8 correct answers: Pretty good, but there’s room for improvement. Take a look at how too much sodium may be causing unnecessary heartbreak in your life!
9-10 correct answers: Awesome! You’ve definitely got the upper hand in this relationship!