Philly’s Chinese Restaurants Are Getting a Low-Sodium Makeover

A new city program takes aim at our salt habit.

Hey, now this is smart! Philly’s Department of Public Health has launched an initiative to lower the sodium content of Chinese food at restaurants in the city. They pegged that particular cuisine, according to an NPR report, both because of its ubiquity (there are at least 400 Chinese restaurants in city limits) and because of its geography (these restaurants tends to be in low-income, African-American and Hispanic areas, communities that are already at higher risk for sodium-related conditions like hypertension).

The city enrolled over 200 establishments in its pilot program, which trained proprietors and cooks on how to cook with less salt and offered advice on how to find affordable suppliers that offer low-sodiun options. It also advised restaurants to give customers fewer soy-sauce packets with their orders.

Check out these results:

Before Philadelphia’s program began, the city analyzed the salt content in two popular Chinese takeout dishes from 20 restaurants. Months later, after the training, the secret shoppers went back. Analysts found a 20 percent reduction in sodium content.

Neat right? Read more about the program over at NPR.

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