How to Find Hidden Salt in Your Diet: Reduce Your Sodium Intake by Knowing Where Salt is Hiding

How to Find Hidden Salt in Your Diet: Reduce Your Sodium Intake by Knowing Where Salt is Hiding

A new survey from Great Britain revealed that 77 per cent of people are not aware that bread and breakfast cereals are two of the top sources of sodium in the diet. This is surprising to most people because these foods don’t taste particularly salty. But manufacturers add salt to many products to make them subtly appeal to us more. And the reason these foods contribute the most sodium is because we eat a lot of them.

Other sources of sodium in the top 10 in the United States include ketchup, spaghetti with sauce and white rice. Furthermore, EatRight Ontario, an online resource from dietitians, has revealed several sources that, while not consumed as frequently, contribute a significant amount of sodium when we do eat them: smoked salmon, turkey deli meat, canned beans, store-bought muffins, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese, and whole wheat bagels and English muffins.

How Much Salt Should We Consume?

The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Those who are older or who have high blood pressure should consume less than 1,500 milligrams per day.

Salt In Common Foods

To put this in perspective, according to EatRight Ontario, that 2.5 ounce serving of smoked salmon has 1,428 milligrams of sodium, nearly an entire day’s worth. A store-bought raisin bran muffin has 790 milligrams, spaghetti sauce, 635 milligrams and two ounces of cheddar cheese, 310 milligrams.

Obviously, it is easy to surpass the healthy limit for sodium by eating ordinary foods each day, and this doesn’t include any salt that you may add at the table. One teaspoon of salt contains that maximum 2,300 milligrams. Consume corn, French fries or other foods that we commonly add salt to, and it wouldn’t take long to reach that amount.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the sodium in your diet.

  • Obviously, don’t salt your food at the table. Use herbs, spices and salt substitutes to add flavor without increasing the salt.
  • Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. By doing this, you will be buying mostly whole fruits and vegetables, unprocessed meats, and fresh bread. The fewer processed foods you eat, the less sodium you will consume.
  • When you do buy processed foods, such as canned tomatoes, soups or snack foods, choose lower-sodium versions. After a few short weeks, your taste buds will adjust and you’ll actually prefer the new less-salty foods.

By buying whole foods and reading labels, you can quickly reduce your sodium intake without noticing a major difference in how your foods tastes. This can not only help you lower your blood pressure but also reduce bloating, not to mention appreciate a world of herbs and spices to season your food.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition