Everyone is aware that excess salt in your diet can contribute to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Salt can also cause bloating and under-eye bags. Salt is also linked to kidney stones, asthma, osteoporosis and gastric cancer.
Just ignoring the saltshaker won’t keep excess salt out of your diet. Only about 11% of the sodium consumed comes from adding salt while cooking or eating a meal. And only 12% comes from the salt that naturally occurs in food. More than three fourths of the salt in an average American diet comes from packaged foods and restaurant purchases.
Some of the worst salt stuffed foods that people consume are hidden in the products. Foods we don’t think are high in sodium. The American Heart Association recommends we take in less than 1,500 mg per day. Most Americans take in more than 3,400 mgs a day. That’s over one teaspoon. People with some medical conditions should take in less.
Most of the salt that impacts our health is hidden in a lot of our food. Most Americans get a majority of our nutritional needs met through processed foods. Most of these foods are loaded with sodium.
Bread: Even though bread doesn’t usually taste salty a single slice has 230 mg of sodium. If you have 2 slices of toast for breakfast, a sandwich with two slices and two dinner rolls for dinner you will have consumed 1,380 mg of sodium in just bread.
Poultry: The amount of sodium in poultry depends on the preparation of the product. Even raw chicken or turkey contains salt. Salt is used to keep poultry fresh. Poultry may be brined to make it kosher. A salty broth is added to raw poultry to ensure that it will be moist after cooking. This added hidden salt that is not listed on the label could add as much as 100mg or more to each serving. Breaded poultry can contain 600mg of sodium per serving.
Cold cuts: Bologna, salami, ham and other meats are high in sodium. Most of the time they don’t taste salty. A four-ounce serving of any of these deli meats can contain 1,100 mg of sodium. Even smoked turkey can contain just as much sodium.
Soup: Soups seem like a healthy choice when we want something healthy. A nice bowl of vegetable or chicken noodle soup can contain as much as 940 mgs of sodium per serving. If you eat the whole can you’ll take in more sodium then you need in one day.
Pizza: Pizza has salt in the cheese, the crust, the sauce and any toppings. One four-ounce slice of pizza can contain over 760 mg of sodium. No one eats one slice.
Serving: 1-cup cereal (190 calories)
Classico Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
Serving: 125 grams (about 1/2 cup)
Slim Jim Original Beef Jerky
Serving: 1 ounce (80 calories)
Kellogg’s Eggo Buttermilk Pancakes
Serving: 3 pancakes (280 calories)
MorningStar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burger
Serving: 1 burger (210 calories)
Serving: 1 tbsp. (15 calories)
Serving: 1 slice (60 calories)
Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel Bread
Serving: 1 slice (80 calories)
V8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice
Serving: 8 ounces (50 calories)
Green Giant Canned Mushrooms
Serving: 1/2 cup (25 calories)
Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Italian Salad Dressing
Serving: 2 tbsp. (50 calories)
DiGiorno for One Pepperoni Thin Crispy Crust
Serving: 1 pizza (590 calories)
Lunchables Ham and Swiss With Crackers
Serving: 1 Lunchable (340 calories)
The approximate amounts of sodium in a given amount of table salt:
• 1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Something you can do to help keep down your sodium intake:
Only have half a sandwich.
When ordering pizza order thin crust and limit the topping to fresh toppings.
Chose a low sodium version of your favorite foods. Low sodium is defined as 140 mg of sodium per serving.
Read labels. Make sure the product is a no sodium added product
Read the menu and make low sodium choices.
Buy fresh meats, fruits and vegetable
Don’t use softened water for cooking and drinking since it contains added salt.
Avoid medications, which contain sodium.
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