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DaphneT's avatar

What would be the effect of reducing the amount of sodium in prepared foods?

Asked by DaphneT (5750points) September 19th, 2012

Would manufacturers have to change the use-by dates so that the foods are used sooner? I’m referring to packaged foods, sauce mixes, canned goods, etc. Does reducing the sodium levels to under 500mgs per serving change the storage time of foods? Does sodium have any thing to do with the storage time of foods?

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13 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t think it would change things all that much. I always look for the lower sodium foods and they keep and store well.

YARNLADY's avatar

We use lower sodium prepared products, and they don’t taste as good as the higher sodium ones.

woodcutter's avatar

They will taste crappier and then we add more salt to adjust desirability. We can’t win.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Have you guys tried adding herbs and spices instead of salt? It’s a little trickier then salting the heck out of everything, but a lot healthier.

woodcutter's avatar

Eating shouldn’t be tricky but I suppose some would adjust but then you have market demand that will have people eventually discovering the old style just to keep it the same as before. The makers of the healthier stuff would find the competition a bit stiff. A law forcing this to happen would even the playing field but do we really want that?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@woodcutter The eating isn’t trickier, it’s actually a lot better tasting after you get the hang of it. The cooking is a little trickier, but you just taste and experiment as you go.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yes, that is the trick. I have discovered mint flakes and some spice mixes that do not include salt. I also discovered feta or Parmesan cheese makes everything taste better.

Edit: Oh, and fresh tomatoes.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@YARNLADY I love fresh tomatoes. Throw anything at your food you want, it’s all good.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think that would be a significant enough change to affect the storage time of foods.

augustlan's avatar

There are many low-sodium prepared foods already available (probably not enough of them, but still.) They even have unsalted potato chips, believe it or not! You actually do get used to it, if you have to. That said, I went back to regular salted products the minute I could.

I’ve never noticed a difference in the sell by/use by dates. Then again, I wasn’t looking. I’ll have to do a side by side comparison on the dates next time I’m at the store.

Sunny2's avatar

The prepared stuff wouldn’t taste as good. However, if this caused the companies to use more herbs to compensate for the lack of salt, perhaps the prepared food could taste even better.

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nettodo's avatar

I think it’s all a matter of taste. Eliminate the salt, and it could go both ways in flavor. Substitute with herbs and spices; again, both ways. As for the expiry dates, I don’t think sheer sodium really affects them.

Besides, some things just taste darn better without salt.

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