When you order food from New York City restaurants that have 15 or more locations nationwide, you will see a warning symbol on the menu for every item or combination listed that has more than 2300 mg of sodium per serving.
This warning is in the form of a salt shaker that appears on menus, menu boards or near every place that food is listed for you to order.
Finally, an answer to concerns about no sodium information on the menu. New York City is the first in the United States to require warnings about sodium content to be addressed on the restaurant menu.
How Does The New Salt Symbol Help You?
For the past few decades, our lifestyles have changed. We’ve become very busy with less time at home to prepare meals from scratch.
I remember shopping with my mom for the fresh ingredients that she used to prepare our meals. Eating out was a treat, and not the norm. Once she went to work outside of our home, more processed and prepared foods were on our dinner table.
As people became more busy, they wanted faster and convenient ways to meet their dining needs. The food industry responded with more processed foods, with increasing sodium content over the years.
With the move to reduce the excess sodium in processed and restaurant foods, we have the possibility of seeing a healthier balance between convenience and sodium content.
The benefit of the salt symbol on the menu…
You can visually scan a menu or menu board and see which selections to automatically eliminate as a very high sodium meal. The type of restaurants that fall under these menu requirements are the fast food and casual dining chains.
The 2300 mg of sodium daily recommendation is for people who do not have certain health conditions, or risks for high blood pressure or heart disease. This upper daily sodium limit is the level at which the dietary guidelines recommend that no one go over.
An exception to this limit would be if you are, for example, an athlete or do intense labor and sweat heavily. You may then need more sodium as a result. You should always check with your doctor to insure that you are making the right choices for your health needs.
What if you are on a low sodium diet?
If you are on a low sodium diet of below 1500 mg of sodium daily, this isn’t the complete package, but it is a start. You still need to know the specific sodium content of the remaining menu selections so that you can make healthy choices. This warning should help narrow your focus on finding the options that can help you stay within your personal dietary guidelines.
You can save time and energy by not salivating over a meal that is well out of your boundaries. There’s nothing like drooling over that great looking herb roasted chicken with rice pilaf and a medley of steamed vegetables, smelling the savory aroma in your mind, and finding out that it has 4,000 mg of sodium!
What if you are not in New York City?
There is a nationwide movement to cut the amount of added salt to food. Restaurants and major food brands have begun working with the National Salt Reduction Initiative to cut the amount of sodium in foods. As a result, restaurants may add more choices to their menus that are lower in sodium, and would not require a warning symbol. These changes would be for foods everywhere in the United States.
To see what brands are working with the National Salt Reduction Initiative, download this National Sodium Reduction Initiative Corporate Commitments guide You will see which food and restaurant companies are voluntarily committed to sodium reduction in foods. You will also see what progress they have made toward reaching the target levels of lower sodium.
Here’s to your health 🙂
All the Best,