Packaged foods often get a bad rap for contributing to problems in America like obesity and heart disease. While this is sometimes true, other brands are working to improve nutrition in the country. Sargento Foods, Inc., in partnership with culinary expert and registered dietitian, Michelle Dudash, is making it easier for Americans to incorporate healthier – yet tasty – options in their diets.
With the recent release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, there is a greater call for people to choose nutrient-dense foods that are lower in sodium and saturated fat. And Sargento Reduced Sodium and Reduced Fat natural cheeses are just that.
The Dietary Guidelines recommend reducing daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams and to further reduce intake to 1,500 milligrams for select segments of the population, which collectively make up about half of the total U.S. population. With 25 percent less sodium and 33 percent less fat than traditional natural cheeses, respectively, Sargento Reduced Sodium and Reduced Fat varieties are an easy solution to incorporating delicious cheese into a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
“Translating the new dietary recommendations into everyday life can be challenging. Americans are now looking in their refrigerators wondering what they should throw out and what new products will help them enjoy a more nutritious lifestyle,” said Dudash. “Fortunately for cheese lovers, Sargento offers reduced sodium and reduced fat cheeses that taste just as delicious as their traditional counterparts.”
Sargento Reduced Sodium and Reduced Fat natural cheeses are available in snacks, slices, and shreds in a variety of flavors, such as Reduced Sodium Colby-Jack sticks, Reduced Sodium Provolone slices and Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar shreds. On average, Sargento Reduced Sodium natural cheeses contain 90-140 milligrams of sodium per serving, and Sargento Reduced Fat natural cheeses contain 2.5-6 grams of total fat and 1.5-3.5 grams of saturated fat per serving.
Michelle also shares the following tips to help Americans make informed food choices and develop sound eating habits:
- Instead of adding salt throughout the preparation process, only add it at the end of cooking when it’s needed. This method requires less salt, while still reaching your taste buds upon first bite.
- Use good quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, which results in maximum flavor and leaves little need for added salt.
- Seek out foods with 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving, since these qualify as low sodium. Sargento Reduced Sodium cheeses all fit the bill with only 90-140 milligrams of sodium per serving, making it a deliciously satisfying way to follow a diet lower in sodium.
- Finishing touches like julienned, sundried tomatoes in egg dishes, raisins in salads, and toasted slivered almonds in rice are low sodium additions that can really liven up the flavor and texture of recipes.
- Choosing lower fat versions of your favorite nutrient-rich foods not only offers less total fat, but also may provide a savings in saturated fat and calories compared to selecting their regular counterparts. Sargento Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Shreds, whole grain crackers, vinaigrette dressing, and yogurt are a few examples.