National Nutrition Month® 2017—Savor the Flavor with Less Salt

This Year’s Focus

Healthy eating includes eating nutritious foods, but it also means limiting foods high in ingredients, such as salt, that can affect our health when consumed in excess. Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt, and while the body needs some sodium, too much can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day as part of a healthy eating pattern. However, nearly 90% of Americans consume more sodium than is recommended. Most of that sodium is found in places other than the salt shaker, such as processed, packaged, and restaurant foods. The good news? There are easy, manageable ways to lower your sodium intake at home, at the grocery store, and in your community!

For National Nutrition Month® 2017, Million Hearts® is encouraging Americans to reduce their sodium intake and make healthier meal choices. All month long, we’ll be sharing sodium-savvy tips and resources to incorporate into your meals!

Tracking down the salt in food with Professor Saul T. Too much sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. By taking the right steps to reduce your sodium intake, your blood pressure can begin decreasing within weeks. About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Sodium adds up, and sodium levels in the same food can vary widely. Fat free chips can have 180 milligrams per ounce; white bread, up to 230 milligrams per slice; ready-to-eat cereal, 250 milligrams per cup; chicken breast with added solution, up to 330 milligrams per 4 ounces. Foods that you eat several times a day can add up to a lot of sodium, even if each serving is not high in sodium. Read nutrition labels to find the lowest sodium options. A bowl of regular chicken noodle soup can have 840 milligrams of sodium, but lower sodium chicken noodle soup can have 360 milligrams. More than 75% of the sodium we eat comes from foods prepared in restaurants and processed foods (not from the salt shaker). Tips you can use to reduce sodium: Choose fresh, frozen (no sauce), or no salt added canned vegetables; know terms that commonly indicate higher sodium content, like “pickled,” “cured,” “brined,” and “broth”; follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan at http://go.usa.gov/p3C. For more tips on reducing sodium in your diet, visit http://1.usa.gov/13hJeTe. This infographic is brought to you by Million Hearts®, millionhearts.hhs.gov

Get Involved

Follow Million Hearts® on Facebook and Twitter. Retweet and share our #NNM posts.

Key Messages
Use these key messages in original social media posts and other communications materials to help spread the word about National Nutrition Month®:

  • Make healthy food choices. Simple food swaps can make your meals and snacks healthier. Look for opportunities throughout the day to add more fruits and vegetables to your plate. Start with these ideas for inspiration.
  • Skip the salt; keep the flavor. Replace salt with flavorful spices and herbs, like thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Find a list of recommended herbs and spices, and then get cooking!
  • Decode nutrition labels. Read nutrition labels on packaged foods to see the amount of sodium per serving and choose the lower sodium option. Many canned foods are available in “no salt added” and reduced sodium versions.
  • Know before you go. Nearly 25% of the sodium we consume comes from restaurant meals. Knowing the amount of sodium in restaurant food can be a challenge. Check the online menu beforehand and scope out healthy options and substitutions. Ask that no salt be added to your meal and that dressings be served on the side.

Social Media

Twitter Chat

  • Topic: How salt affects your heart and what you can do to lower your sodium consumption 
  • Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Hashtag: #SaltChat
  • Hosts: Million Hearts (@MillionHeartsUS), American Heart Association (@American_Heart)

Share the social media content below on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Facebook

  • Happy National Nutrition Month®! Learn how to have a heart-healthy diet by reducing your sodium intake. Need pointers on how to cut back on salt? Follow Million Hearts [tag] for tips and resources! #NNM http://bit.ly/2k6jp1N
  • 9 in 10 Americans eat too much sodium, which can increase your risk for high blood pressure. The good news is that there are easy, manageable ways to lower the sodium in our diets! Learn how with these tips from CDC. #NNM http://bit.ly/2aXvxfR
  • FACT: More than 75% of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods, not the salt shaker! These tips can help YOU become a sodium-savvy shopper. #NNM http://bit.ly/2kwqZD9
  • Savor the flavor with less salt. Find SALTernatives for the whole family to make your meals healthier! #NNM http://bit.ly/2kWXXQ6
  • Are you a sodium smarty? Take our NEW quiz to find out and learn about ways to lower sodium in your diet! #NNM http://bit.ly/2mTGTvl
  • Looking for some recipe inspiration? We’ve got you covered. Impress your guests with a delicious side dish of sweet potatoes! http://bit.ly/2n62m0r
  • Need a dish for an upcoming potluck? Here’s a heart-healthy recipe that’s will surely shine: Brussels sprouts with mushroom sauce and thyme! #NNM http://bit.ly/2memcbY

Twitter/Instagram

  • Happy #NationalNutritionMonth! Learn how to reduce #sodium in your diet with these tips from @MillionHeartsUS! http://bit.ly/2k6jp1N #NNM
  • 9 in 10 Americans eat more #sodium than recommended. Where’s the sodium in our diets? Get the facts: http://bit.ly/2kwqZD9 #NNM
  • Are you a #sodium smarty? Take our NEW quiz to find out & learn about ways to lower sodium in your diet! http://bit.ly/2mTGTvl #NNM
  • Need a #HeartHealthy recipe that’s will surely shine? Try Brussels sprouts with mushroom sauce & thyme! http://bit.ly/2memcbY #NNM
  • Need some #recipe inspiration for #NNM? Impress your guests with this delicious side dish! http://bit.ly/2n62m0r

Click on each file to download and save it to your device.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest

Need a healthy snack? Replace chips and dips with berries and cherries.
Sodium's favorite hiding spot? Processed and restaurant foods.
Rethink your drink. No- or low-calorie beverages are refreshing and heart-healthy.

Brussels sprouts with mushroom sauce and thyme.
Oven baked sweet potatoes.

Twitter

Need a healthy snack? Replace chips and dips with berries and cherries.
Sodium's favorite hiding spot? Processed and restaurant foods.
Rethink your drink. No- or low-calorie beverages are refreshing and heart-healthy.

Brussels sprouts with mushroom sauce and thyme.
Oven baked sweet potatoes.

Quiz

Take our new quiz to see whether you’re a sodium smarty and learn about ways to reduce sodium at home, at the grocery store, and more! http://bit.ly/2mTGTvl

Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Resource Center

Find delicious and heart-healthy recipes, easy meal plans, and inspiring articles to kick off your National Nutrition Month® celebrations!

Additional Resources

Below, find healthy eating and sodium reduction tips from Million Hearts®, CDC, and our partners.

Sodium Reduction Resources:

Healthy Eating Resources:

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