serving foods such as clams or oysters. Not commonly used in recipes, rock salt contains some harmless impurities.

  • Salt substitute: made of potassium chloride and contains no sodium. It may be recommended by a healthcare provider for people on a sodium-restricted diet.
  • Sea salt: salt—either fine-grained or in larger crystals—produced by evaporation of seawater—for example, Black Sea, French (fleur de sel), Celtic, or Hawaiian sea salt. It has trace amounts of other minerals that may offer a somewhat different flavor. Still, it's sodium chloride. Even though sea salt is often promoted as a healthful alternative to ordinary table salt, the sodium content is comparable; the small amount of other minerals offers no known health advantages. As with other salts, use sea salt judiciously. If the grain is coarse, it may have less sodium per teaspoon, but not by weight.

Tip: With canning, trace minerals in sea salt may discolor food.

• Seasoned salt: salt with herbs and other flavorings added, such as celery salt, garlic salt, onion salt, or other seasoned salts. Seasoned salt has less sodium than table salt but more than herbs alone.

Tip: For less sodium in cooking, use just herbs— for example, celery seed, garlic powder, or onion flakes. Check the ingredient list for salt.

• Table salt: fine, granulated salt commonly used in cooking and in salt shakers. An anticaking additive— calcium silicate—helps table salt flow freely and not get lumpy.

slices of bacon may deliver 500 to 800 milligrams of sodium. Even "reduced-sodium" foods may be higher in sodium than you think!

For clues to the sodium in processed foods, check the label for sodium-containing ingredients. If an ingredient has Na, salt, soda, or sodium in its name, that's a clue for sodium. ("Na" is the scientific symbol for sodium.) Foods described as "broth," "cured," "corned," "pickled," or "smoked" usually contain sodium, too; cured ham often contains about 350 milligrams of sodium per ounce. Page 149 shows just a few ingredients with sodium.

Because sodium occurs naturally, too, even unprocessed foods may contain sodium. But the amounts (about 12 percent of our overall sodium intake) aren't high enough for concern.

How do you know if a food has a lot of sodium, or a little? Check the amount of sodium in one label serving of a food, using the label's Nutrition Facts. If one serving contains 5 percent or less of the Daily Value (DV) for sodium, that's low. If it contains 20 percent or more DV, that's a lot. Remember: Two servings double the sodium. For tips on using food labels, see "Today's Food Labels" in chapter 11.

Which food groups have the most sodium? The sodium content of foods varies—even in very similar

Need more strategies to shake the salt habit? Check here for "how-tos":

  • Shop for foods with less sodium—see chapter 11.
  • Fit in more fruits and veggies (and more potassium)—see chapter 13.
  • Cut salt in your cooking—see chapter 13.
  • Give food a flavor burst with herbs and spices, not salt—see chapter 13.
  • Order restaurant foods with less sodium—see chapter 14.
  • Follow the DASH eating plan—see chapter

foods. The difference comes from the way foods are prepared and processed. Foods in every group of MyPyramid may contain sodium.

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