Today’s consumers, you and I, are very aware of the quality and nutritional value of the foods we eat. Not only do we have the ability to “Google” anything we want to know, but, we also have valuable information, in the form of the Nutrition Facts, which is found on every packaged food we buy.
It is now simple to find the amount per serving of fiber, sugar, sodium, vitamin A, fat…and much more, in any packaged food. It is at our fingertips, neatly laid out in the Nutrition Facts label. It is not a guessing game like it was for many of our parents and definitely for our grandparents.
The Nutrition Facts table gives you information on the amount of 13 core nutrients and calories in an amount of food. We can use this information and the % Daily Value (% DV) to choose and compare food products and make healthier choices. Trust me, when you pick up a package of ooy gooy pecan butter tarts and see 26 gms of fat per serving on the Nutrition Facts table, you drop that package like it was a hot potato!
We should have the same reaction when we look at the amount of sodium (salt) in a product. If it is high, drop it like yesterdays news! We all need to be vigilant and more aware of the amount of sodium we consume each day.
Although consuming sodium in appropriate amounts is necessary, when you take in too much, it can cause a serious imbalance in your body, raising your risk for several potentially serious medical problems such as: high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.
Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), has committed to reducing sodium levels by an average of 20 per cent across the company’s own President’s Choice® line of products. President’s Choice®, Canada’s top-selling consumer brand, includes more than 3,800 products across fresh, frozen and dry grocery categories.
Check out the sodium reduction that Loblaws has already made in the products pictured below:
|Product||% Sodium Reduction|
|PC® Swedish Meat Balls||56%|
|PC® Southern Style Chicken Wings||46%|
|Product||% Sodium Reduction|
|PC® Loads of Raisins Raisin Bran||13%|
|PC® Original Tortilla||46%|
|PC® Instant Oatmeal 3 Flavour Pack||33%|
|PC® Blue Menu Mayonnaise Style Spread||27%|
|PC® Chocolate Hazelnut Spread||52%|
|PC® Blue Menu Multigrain O’s
|PC® English Style Crumpet
Those are HUGE decreases!
Loblaw began its sodium-reduction mandate in 2010. In the past four years, it has eliminated nearly 150,000 kilograms of sodium across 471 products under its President’s Choice®, no name®, Farmer’s Market™ and other control brands. It has also introduced hundreds of new products with lowered sodium levels.
The company has recently announced an accelerated plan to cut sodium levels by 20 per cent across 400 products within the President’s Choice® line in 2014 and 2015. The program will include a focus on categories that have traditionally posed the greatest challenge for salt reduction, including sauces, dressings and bakery items.
By the end of 2015, they will have put every single President’s Choice® product under the microscope and removed every extra bit of sodium, while maintaining the food safety and taste we have come to expect.
Their recent successes with sodium speak volumes: President’s Choice® Crumpets cut one-third; seven varieties of oatmeal cut 43 per cent; tortillas and soy beverages cut by half.
Loblaw Companies have promised that where sodium can be removed without effect, it will be gone. Where it is fundamental and cannot be significantly reduced, it will stay in the lowest quantity possible. Where the cost of substitutes – often many-times more expensive than sodium – drastically impacts consumer prices, we will all have tough decisions to make.
Over the past couple of years, the Government of Canada has taken a stand on sodium consumption – establishing voluntary reduction targets for the industry while at the same time acknowledging the challenges. Loblaws applaud the government and they are committed to being an industry-leading champion of these efforts, in support of the Canadian consumer.
Way to go Loblaws for taking the steps to help Canadians achieve a healthier lifestyle!
Are you aware of the Nutrition Facts labelling on packaged products?
Do you read the label before making the decision to buy a product?
Are you trying to eat a healthier diet and reduce your sodium consumption?