Are you trying to control your sodium intake? If so, you should consider the hidden salt lurking in foods you don’t know about. Processed foods are high in sodium, and too much salt can cause problems with your blood pressure and inflammation in the body.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could monitor your sodium intake by just putting away the saltshaker? Sadly, you need to read labels and know what you’re putting into your system. Your body needs some salt to thrive, but consuming too much throws your electrolytes off balance.
Twenty Foods with Hidden Salt
It’s time to sound the alarm about hidden salt in your foods. Since salt is a preservative, it could be why you’re not seeing a reduction in your inflammation or blood pressure. Here are some notorious foods high in sodium that you probably eat daily.
1. Lunch Meats
Cold cuts are an easy way to make a quick meal. Since most slices are low in calories, it also seems like a good option for a dieter. However, according to the World Health Organization, you shouldn’t eat more than 350 grams of lunch meats a week.
These meats have high sodium levels, but they’ve also found that it’s likely to increase your chances of getting cancer.
2. Pickled Foods
Anything pickled has lower calories and seems like a healthy option, but it’s a whole different story when you consider the hidden salt. Salt is a preservative for these dill delights, and one medium-sized pickle has over 780 milligrams of sodium. Eating a few pickles as a snack can exceed your daily limit.
A slice of the old Italian pie is delicious. The only problem is the toppings you choose. Not only does the bread and pasta sauce have hidden salt, but the pepperoni and other toppings only add to the mix.
A traditional slice of pepperoni pizza has around 760 milligrams of sodium, nearly half of your daily allowance. Since most people eat more than one slice, this meal could take you over the daily limit.
There’s nothing better on a cold day than a bowl of chicken noodle soup. However, the average can have a whopping 940 milligrams of salt unless you buy the low sodium version. Consequently, this doesn’t include any crackers you might add with it.
5. Canned Veggies
One ear of corn has around eleven milligrams of sodium. However, one can of corn has about 440 mg. The difference is all about using salt to preserve and extend the shelf-life of this product. The hidden salt in these veggies is causing health distress, and most folks don’t even realize the damage from a simple food item.
Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods around, or is it? Did you know that just one cup of plain yogurt has as much as 170 mg of sodium? This is supposed to be the healthy stuff, but what do you think is in all the ones with added fruits and candies?
Most folks are shocked to learn that one teaspoon of salt is equivalent to around 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is what your suggested daily allowance is from The American Heart Association. It helps to put things into perspective considering that one slice of bread has around 200 milligrams. It’s easy to see how your consumption can get very quickly out of hand.
8. Breakfast Cereals
Who doesn’t love a good breakfast cereal? They’re ready-to-go, which makes breakfast a snap. Sadly, the amount of sodium in these quick meals is remarkable. A simple bowl of corn flakes can carry more than 750 mg of sodium, a hidden salt most people wouldn’t consider. Why not try some delicious oatmeal where you can control your salt intake?
9. Baked Goods
There’s nothing better than a piece of decadent chocolate cake or a donut filled with whipped cream. Sadly, one little donut can have one-third of your daily intake. What if you polish off a bag of donuts or eat half a box? When you stop and consider all these little things that add up to an astonishing amount of sodium, it puts things into perspective.
10. Smoked Fish
A nice piece of pink salmon has excellent heart benefits, but when you consider this fish is cured in salt, it changes everything. Fresh is always better for fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna, and haddock. All of these are high in sodium and not heart-healthy.
11. Pasta Sauce
Pasta sauce from the jar has become a staple in most households. However, when you consider 500 milligrams of sodium in a commercially-packaged jar, it doesn’t sound so appealing. Making your sauce is a healthy alternative, as you can reduce salt and sugar content.
12. Ready-to-eat Frozen Meals
TV dinners became prominent in the 1950s. It seems like an easy way to get a healthier meal and cater to everyone’s taste buds. Sadly, these convenient meals can range from 700 to 1,800 milligrams per entree.
13. Chips and Crunchy Snacks
The next time you’re in the grocery store, why not take some time to read the labels on your favorite snack items? Once you see the hidden salt and sugars in some of these products might change your mind about what you buy. While you can’t escape salt, and your body does need some of it, you certainly can be picky about what you ingest.
Having a cold soda is so refreshing on a hot day. While it’s not a food item, it should be mentioned as most folks don’t consider the amount of sodium in just one can. You’re getting about 45 to 100 milligrams of sodium in a 12 oz serving, according to Healthy Eating San Francisco. Even diet soda has sodium content, which most people don’t consider, as they’re only concerned with the lack of sugar and calories.
Bacon is a favorite food for breakfast. However, it’s full of salt and lard, as these are used for preservation. The high level of saturated fat in this favored meat is uncanny. While a slab of bacon goes perfect with eggs, it can mess with your cholesterol and blood pressure.
16. Packaged Sandwiches
Many people rely on prepared foods, like sandwiches, for quick on-the-go meals, from a gas station or local grocery store. However, that tuna on rye might not be as healthy as it seems. You already know bread is high in sodium, but they need to preserve these sandwiches to make it from the plant to the store without issue.
How do they get that bread to stay so fresh? They pump dextrose and water into it to help extend the shelf life. The meat is often packed with fillers like corn flour, which will help take up more space without costing a fortune. Have you ever noticed how flavorless these sandwiches are? Now you know why they taste so much like cardboard.
Sausage is just as bad, if not worse, than bacon. It’s full of cancer-causing carcinogens and hidden salt. It tastes fantastic on a platter with some eggs, but if you only really knew what was in it, you might think twice about eating it.
18. Salted Butter
The next time you need butter, you should choose the unsalted variety. It’s unnecessary to have this added sodium in your cooking, and it’s not required. Many salt substitutes can be used to keep your heart healthy, but when you have added salt to the butter, it cancels out this healthy choice.
19. Ice Cream
Ice cream is another product that can ride the fence. A simple half-cup of vanilla has only around fifty mg of sodium. However, when you add nuts, candy, chocolate, and all the other goodies that make it irresistible, you change the entire treat. Ice cream can be another source of hidden salt you don’t consider.
20. Instant Pudding
You wouldn’t consider instant pudding high in salt, as it doesn’t taste salty. It’s the additives that give it a high sodium ranking. When the manufacturing company adds disodium phosphate and tetrasodium pyrophosphate to the mix, it changes the sodium content. Packaged foods must be preserved; these preservatives usually increase the hidden salt content.
Final Thoughts on Hidden Salt in Foods
You’re eating way more salt than you realize, and if you’ve issues with your blood pressure or inflammation, these foods could be behind it. Some products have hoodwinked you for far too long. It’s time to start reading the labels and taking control of your health. You can cut out those pesky foods laden with salt and live a healthier and happier life.