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J Am Diet Assoc. 1987 Dec;87(12):1651-5.

Sources of sodium, potassium, and energy in the diets of adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.


Analysis of food diaries of 200 students in two boarding high schools indicated that 30% of their average daily sodium intake was contributed by bakery foods and ready-to-eat cereals. The next most important source of sodium (24%) was a category made up of food adjuncts, snack-type foods, soups, and beverages. The largest proportion of sodium in most foods had been added during food manufacture or preparation. Salt added at the table contributed less than 1% of the sodium in the diets of the teenagers. All students did not eat foods from all categories on their day of recording; 70% or more ate bakery products, dairy foods, food adjuncts, and meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. Changes in recipe formulations can decrease sodium content for a variety of bakery products, cereals, mixed dishes, snack-type foods, soups, and processed meats. It is therefore possible to make large reductions in dietary sodium without disturbing other nutrient values.

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