There are many ways that sneaky salt can find its way into your food. Today, we explore the ways sodium can be sneaky and show up on the ingredients list of your favorite food. We’ll show you the words to watch for when comparing food labels so you can choose the option with the least amount of sodium.
When you see the words “salt”, “soda” and “sodium” anywhere on your ingredients list, you can bet that your food contains sodium. Salt, sea salt, and other forms of salt contain sodium chloride (number 13 on the list below). Soda, also known as baking soda, contains sodium bicarbonate (number 10 on the list below).
When looking for “sodium” it is also important to know that it is not always listed as a single word on food labels.
These are all examples of food ingredients that contain sodium.
- Disodium guanylate (GMP)
- Disodium inosinate (IMP)
- Fleur de sel
- Himalayan pink salt
- Kosher salt
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Rock salt
- Sea salt
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Sodium nitrate
- Sodium citrate
- Sodium chloride
- Sodium diacetate
- Sodium erythorbate
- Sodium glutamate
- Sodium lactate
- Sodium lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium metabisulfite
- Sodium phosphate
- Trisodium phosphate
Whew! What a list.
As you can see, there are many types of ingredients that gets added to food and contains sodium. No wonder almost three-quarters of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods! Here are other sources of sodium to watch for in addition to this list.
So, what do you do if the food you want includes one of these ingredients?
Here are three tips that help you learn how to reduce sodium:
- Check the nutrition facts label. This will tell you exactly how much sodium is in the food per serving. If there are a few brands available, compare labels and choose the item with the least amount of sodium. Also, remember that the information shown on the label is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more than 2,000 calories depending upon your age, gender, and activity level.
- Prepare food at home from scratch when you can. Learn how to use common herbs and spices deliciously. This way, the natural flavors of your food will emerge as the star of the dish instead of salt. Use herbs, spices, citrus juice, garlic, and onion to enhance the flavor of your foods.
- When you go out to eat, ask that your food be made without the extra salt. And, once you get your order, you can control your portion size and put half your order in a to-go box. When you cut calories, you cut the sodium too. And by having food left over his way, you can enjoy another meal later.
What words do you watch for on the ingredients label?