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How Much Sodium Is Too Much? The FDA Issues New Recs

Nov 23, 2021

It might be time to ditch that extra bag of pretzels. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently released new voluntary reduction guidelines for your daily sodium intake, which might mean a few less salty snacks and seasoned pre-packaged meals. This recommended reduction of sodium will affect “commercially processed, packaged, and prepared foods” (aka, nearly all the canned foods, packaged meal kits, and frozen meals you buy)—and for good reason. More than 70% of total sodium intake in the American diet is the result of sodium added during food manufacturing and commercial food prep, says the FDA.

So how do you solve this salty dilemma? The easiest way may be the ready-to-eat meals from Freshly stacked neatly in your fridge (more on how Freshly’s got you covered, later…). And since we know staying up-to-date on all the latest FDA recs isn’t high on your to-do list (have you even done a software upgrade on your phone lately?), we decided to break it all down for you here. Keep reading to learn how you can take small steps to eat better and how Freshly is making it easier than ever for you to limit your sodium and still enjoy delicious meals. 

Is Sodium Bad for You?

Not necessarily. Like most things, it’s best enjoyed in moderation. And apparently, Americans as a whole aren’t great at that (more than 90% of US citizens ages 2 and older are consuming too much sodium).

So while a pinch of salt here and there can add some flavor to your favorite foods, studies have shown an association between its habitual overuse and raised blood pressure levels as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Like we said: back away from the pretzels…

How Much Sodium a Day is Okay? 

When it comes to how much sodium is too much, the FDA is weighing in. Currently, the average sodium intake in the U.S. is approximately 3400 milligrams per day, with the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending an upper limit of 2300mg per day—an ambitious goal, for sure. To get us there (eventually), the FDA’s most recent announcement has called for a 400mg reduction in sodium to 3000mg per day, resulting in a 12% reduction over the next two and a half years. That might seem like a considerable ask. But the good news is that ALL of our Freshly meals already fall well within this range and can be a great fit for those with low-sodium dietary preferences! 

“Meals that are lower in sodium have been a key part of our menu over the years,” says Jenna Amos, RD, Freshly’s registered dietitian and expert on all things nutrition. “Our goal is to do the nutritional ‘heavy lifting’ for our subscribers—creating delicious, better-for-you meals that are well ahead of the curve when it comes to guidelines set forth by the FDA.”

Limiting your sodium to 2300mg per day may feel like it’s beyond reach, but that’s where Freshly comes in. Our meals average between 500mg and 850mg of sodium per serving, so you can manage your sodium easily and still enjoy dishes that are loaded with flavor. Think of it: you could eat Freshly morning, noon, and night—and still stay within the FDA’s guidelines!  

The Takeaway?

Trying to follow a reduced sodium diet or even abide by recommended sodium levels may seem at first blush like a Herculean task. But with meals that average just 850mg of sodium, it doesn’t have to be. Our Freshly nutrition team goes to great lengths to create delicious meals that don’t require a ton of salt, making it as easy as 1, 2, 3 minutes in your microwave to enjoy something satisfying—and still abide by your recommended daily salt intake. While other meal delivery services create special lines of “low sodium meals,” we make ALL our meals with the best dietary recommendations in mind.

Freshly delivers delicious, nutritious, fully-prepared meals that allow you to eat well, effortlessly, every day. Check out our rotating menu.

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How Much Sodium Is Too Much? The FDA Issues New Recs