Nutritional facts panels were created so you can compare one product to another. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. For example, if a jar of salsa lists tomatoes first, you know there are more tomatoes in the product than anything else. But when it comes to sodium, added sugars and saturated and trans fats – which in excess can damage your heart health and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke – it can be difficult to tell just how much is in there. The reason is, these ingredients can go by several names. There are many terms used for sugar on food labels. You might see sugar listed as the fourth ingredient in a product and think it’s not so bad. But sugar can also be listed as high-fructose corn syrup or corn syrup, agave nectar, barley malt syrup or dehydrated cane juice, to name just a few. Sodium also has several names. There’s salt, sodium benzoate, disodium or monosodium glutamate (MSG). Sodium is found in hot dogs, lunchmeats and so on. It’s used to preserve meats and fish and control bacteria, so it does have reasonable uses, but we should be aware it contributes to our total salt intake. Too much sodium can raise blood pressure, increasing risk for heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day; unfortunately the average American consumes twice that amount.