CFA's Comments Regarding Approaches to Reducing Sodium Consumption
The CFA is dedicated to educating consumers and industry professionals about the many benefits of canned foods, including nutrition, convenience, value, versatility, year-round availability, economic impact and sustainability. With regard to the joint public hearing on "Approaches to Reducing Sodium Consumption" and the call for comments, we appreciate the opportunity to provide information on how canned foods can play a role in helping Americans meet the USDA dietary guidelines and play a role in efforts to reduce dietary sodium. Please consider the following with regard to sodium and canned foods:
Many Canned Foods on the Market Are Low in Sodium
Many canned foods are, and always have been, low in sodium. As an industry dedicated to meeting the health, nutrition and taste preferences of our customers, canned food companies have responded to consumer interest in foods that have lower levels of sodium. When salt is added, it is primarily used to enhance flavor, and in some cases to maintain texture. This results in increased consumer acceptance and enjoyment of these nutritious foods, making it more likely for Americans to consume important nutrients. Today, there are more great-tasting, nutritious canned foods available in no salt added, low sodium and reduced sodium options than ever before.
Draining and Rinsing Canned Foods Lowers Sodium Further
Consumers looking to reduce sodium in their diet can drain the liquid and rinse the food to decrease sodium levels even more. A new study shows that draining and rinsing canned beans reduces sodium content per serving by 41 percent. Draining alone results in a 36 percent sodium decrease.
At a time when Americans need nutritious, affordable and accessible food options, canned foods offer Americans affordable and accessible fruits and vegetables year round, and provide important nutrients such as fiber and potassium, which are often lacking in the diet. As an industry, we are committed to providing a variety of foods to help meet consumers' dietary needs and taste preferences, which includes accommodating those who might be concerned about sodium.
The CFA looks forward to working with government, nutrition professionals and other industry partners to help educate consumers about the numerous nutritious food choices available to them. We will continue to communicate the many benefits of canned foods, including the fact that there are no-sodium, low-sodium and reduced sodium options available, so that Americans can feel good about serving all forms of fruits, vegetables, beans, meats and seafood to their families in order to achieve a healthy diet.