In 2016, when the FDA released its plan to encourage foodservice operators and suppliers to voluntarily “reduce the amount of sodium that’s in the food they sell by about a third,” healthcare providers all over the country saw it as a huge legislative issue facing their businesses. However, with the support of the National Restaurant Association and a shared commitment to implement and uphold both short-term adjustments and long-term reduction efforts, more and more healthcare institutions are now employing a wide variety of sodium reduction strategies – and seeing major successes! If you have yet to start complying with the FDA’s sodium reduction efforts, below is a bit of information about why you should and how to get started!
Why Sodium Reduction Is So Important
High concentrations of sodium greatly affect heart health. Patients who intake excessive quantities of sodium often have higher blood pressure, and are at a much greater risk of suffering from hypertension, heart disease, heart attack, total heart failure, renal disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and even cancer or a stroke. Eventually, prolonged consumption can even hinder a patient’s kidneys and irrevocably damage their bones – and the only way to stop any of it is for someone, like you, to step in and offer a better way.
Strategies To Help You Get Started
As a leader in healthcare, you have the power to change things. “Exposure in the hospital setting to foods full of sodium can lead to increased salt consumption in already sick and immune-compromised populations as well as their families, hospital staff, and the public,” which can lead to widespread health problems. But you have the power to make sure patients under your care have access to low sodium meal options, as well as the education they need to help them make heart-healthy decisions at home. And you can start by implementing effective strategies to improve your healthcare foodservice environment. Some of the most popular as of late include:
- Start a dialogue with and educate your staff, patients, and local communities about the risks of excess sodium and how to make positive changes to promote better health.
- Establish a comprehensive food policy that relies on more responsible food purchases, specifically focusing on the transition from processed, packaged foods to fresher, more wholesome ingredients.
- Focus all your marketing on the promotion of healthier foods throughout your facility, including anywhere food is prepared or sold, and restrict any advertising that promotes less healthful options.
- Go out and connect with your community, network with city leaders, and partner with local venders and/or organizations offering fresh items your facility can use.
Bottom line is, your patients may not know how to carve out a path to better health, but you can certainly guide them – so don’t waste another minute and risk their health any further. Start seeing the significant impact reducing sodium can have in your facility and surrounding community today! Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how our software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.