Added salt is usually the stumbling block for many Clean Eaters when examining a label to determine whether the item is clean or not. Often, a product may appear to have a low sodium content from the packaging, but when you look at that ingredient label, you discover the sodium makes the food entirely inappropriate for a Clean Eater. Here is a quick overview of some common salt labels found on food.
1. "No Salt Added" or "Unsalted" - No salt is added during processing or packaging. This does not always mean the food is sodium free, some foods contain sodium naturally. However, you can be assured that sodium content is as occurs naturally.
For example: Land O' Lakes Unsalted butter has 0 mg sodium per tablespoon. Land O' Lakes salted butter has 95 mg per tablespoon.
2. "Reduced" or "Less Sodium" - Must contain at least 25% less sodium than the original food, a competitor's equivalent product, or another reference. Make sure to determine exactly what it is lower than! They must provide a reference item, or the claim is worthless.
For example: Kikkoman Less Sodium soy sauce has 575 mg per tablespoon. Kikkoman Regular Soy Sauce has 920 mg per tablespoon.
3. "Light in Sodium" or "Lightly Salted" - Must contain 50% less sodium than the original food, a competitor's equivalent product, or another reference. Again, make sure to determine exactly what it is lower than!
For example: Lay's Lightly Salted potato chips have 85 mg per 1 ounce serving. Lay's Classic Regular potato chips have 180 mg per serving.
4. - "Low sodium" - This is the most stringent reduced sodium label. Each food can have only 140 mg or less sodium per serving.
For example: Wheat Thins Hint of Salt low sodium crackers have 60 mg per 16 cracker serving. Wheat Thins Original crackers have 230 mg per 16 cracker serving.