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Worksites that adopt a policy of serving healthy refreshments at meetings can now use the Energize Your Meetings guide to plan low-sodium options for snacks. Developed by the Washington State Department of Health, Energize Your Meetings sets standards in five tiers, from one star to five stars. Providing low sodium options are part of a "5 Star Event" that also includes options for smaller portion sizes and low fat snacks.
Too much salt in our diet leads to high blood pressure, which causes 2/3 of all strokes and half of all heart attacks. We could all benefit from eating less salt. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people consume no more than 2300 mg of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). Individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, as well as people 51 or older or African Americans of any age, should consume no more than 1500 mg of sodium a day (about 2/3 teaspoon of salt).
The Energize Your Meetings five star standard recommends no more than 600 mg sodium per person per meal (1/4 teaspoon of salt), or 200 mg sodium per person per snack (1/10 teaspoon of salt).
Sometimes, sodium hides where you least expect it. Here are some foods you might not think of as high in sodium, and tips on choosing healthier products:
Read the full Energize Your Meetings Guidelines (pdf)
Updated: July 2011