Packaged foods high in salt, CDC researchers find

Atlanta – More than half of packaged food products contain more sodium than is considered healthy, indicates recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers examined more than 3,500 packaged food products sold across the country, and found that at least 50 percent of the products contained more sodium than the limit for “healthy food” based on Food and Drug Administration labeling, according to the report. Under FDA guidelines, meals should have no more than 600 milligrams of sodium per serving, and individual foods should have no more than 480 milligrams per serving to be considered healthy.

More than 70 percent of pizza, pasta dishes and meat dishes – and 50 percent to 70 percent of cold cuts, soups and sandwiches – had more salt than the limit listed in the FDA’s standard, the report states. Only about 10 percent of bread, “savory snacks” and cheese exceeded the standard.

High sodium consumption has been linked to high blood pressure, the researchers noted.

The study was published April 2 in Preventing Chronic Disease.