Study: Too much salt in pre-packaged meals, snacks for toddlers - WNCT

Study: Too much salt in pre-packaged meals, snacks for toddlers

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Shanna Muigai works hard to give her daughters healthy food.

But it's not easy. A new study finds that nearly 75 percent of pre-packaged meals and snacks for toddlers have too much salt. It's added as a preservative and for flavor.

Researchers looked at the sodium in more than one thousand foods for babies and toddlers. A product was considered high in salt if it had more than 210 milligrams of sodium per serving or 14 percent of the daily recommended allowance.

A big concern is children who eat a high sodium diet may develop a lifelong preference for salty foods. As adults, another study finds most people eat almost double the recommended daily amount of sodium.

The American Heart Association says adults should have less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. The average American consumes 3,600 milligrams.

Researchers in a third study found eating too much salt contributed to 2.3 million deaths worldwide in 2010 from heart-related diseases. Almost half were people 69 or younger.

Shanna knows the risks, and avoids prepackaged foods,  a small step with big health benefits.

Health experts say a half a teaspoon of salt has nearly an entire day's worth of recommended sodium. So another way to reduce sodium is to keep salt shakers off of kitchen tables.

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