Here’s a pinch of reality: Nearly three-quarters of the sodium consumed in the U.S. comes from restaurant and prepared foods, according to a report by the World Health Organization.
But salt doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. The National Restaurant Association says an effective approach to reducing sodium must be “voluntary, incremental, flexible and take into account the eating preferences of consumers.”
Some restaurants are making sweeping changes across the menu, while others focus on specific categories:1
While some restaurants are adjusting popular dishes in a phased approach, others are advertising new recipes to receive health and nutrition headlines. Research firm Mintel calls the trend “healthy by association,” taking small steps to increase the healthy halo rather than entire menu revamps all at once.
If you start addressing sodium reduction now, the debate about menu regulations won’t raise your blood pressure.
1Technomic “Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report 2010”; Los Angeles Times “Cutting Back on Salt and Hoping You Won’t Notice” July 23, 2011; Technomic “Fast Casual Report Top 100 2011”