The objective of this study was to compare the sodium content of a regular food and its lower calorie/fat counterpart. Four food categories, among the top 20 contributing the most sodium to the US diet, met the criteria of having the most matches between regular foods and their lower calorie/fat counterparts. A protocol was used to search websites to create a list of “matches”, a regular and comparable lower calorie/fat food(s) under each brand. Nutrient information was recorded and analyzed for matches. In total, 283 matches were identified across four food categories: savory snacks (N
= 44), cheese (N
= 105), salad dressings (N
= 90), and soups (N
= 44). As expected, foods modified from their regular versions had significantly reduced average fat (total fat and saturated fat) and caloric profiles. Mean sodium content among modified salad dressings and cheeses was on average 8%–12% higher, while sodium content did not change with modification of savory snacks. Modified soups had significantly lower mean sodium content than their regular versions (28%–38%). Consumers trying to maintain a healthy diet should consider that sodium content may vary in foods modified to be lower in calories/fat.
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