Estimation of sodium availability in food in Slovenia: results from household food purchase data from 2000 to 2009

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Introduction: The main aim of the study was to estimate average daily sodium availability of Slovenian consumers based on the food purchase data for the period 2000-2009. The secondary aim was to look for food group contributors to sodium availability.

Methods: Food purchase records (Household Budget Survey) as well as country-specific reference values and food composition information were used to estimate mean sodium availability of purchased foods (grams of sodium/person/ day - g Na/p/day) as well as food groups and foods with the largest contribution to the total sodium availability.

Discussion and results: The mean sodium availability of purchased foods decreased in the period 2000-2009 and was on average 2,104±132 mg Na/p/day, not accounting for ready-made meals, most semi-prepared foods and adding salt during cooking and at the table. The key food group contributors of sodium in Slovenia were breads and bakery products (35.0%), meat products (27.9%), processed vegetables (6.6%) and cheeses (5.3%).

Conclusions: Notwithstanding the smaller purchased quantities of higher-sodium foods (e.g. sausages, prosciutto, dry meat, pickled cucumbers) in comparison to larger purchased quantities of the medium-sodium foods (e.g. white bread, mixed bread, brown bread, milk, rolls), both food groups contribute significant amounts of sodium in the diets of Slovenians.

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