Learn about the Salty Six - surprising foods that contribute the most sodium to our diets.
Let’s look at these foods in more detail. How did they get on this list, and how can you keep them from packing excess sodium into your diet?
Cold cuts and cured meats. Deli or pre-packaged turkey can have as much as 1,050 milligrams of sodium per serving! Some sodium is added because these meats would spoil quickly without the added sodium solution, but it doesn’t need to be excessive. If you compare nutrition labels and look for lower sodium varieties, you will find that they are out there!
Pizza. OK, pizza isn’t exactly known for being a health food. But you’re probably thinking the big concerns here are saturated fat and calories. But did you know that one slice may have up to 760 milligrams of sodium? It doesn’t take a lot of math to realize that a few slices can send sodium skyrocketing. Top your slices with more veggies and less cheese, and swap in a salad for some of your slices.
Soup. Soup can’t be bad if Mom gave it to you for the sniffles, right? Well, one cup of canned chicken noodle soup can have up to 940 milligrams of sodium. Make a big batch of your own and freeze the leftovers, or add plain frozen veggies to a lower-sodium variety of canned soup so there is less sodium per serving.
Breads and rolls. A lot of bread doesn’t even taste salty, but one piece can have as much as 230 milligrams of sodium. If you have toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and dinner rolls, that can add up quickly. Thinner slices tend to have fewer calories, and less sodium as well.
Chicken. Reasonable portions of lean, skinless grilled chicken are great. But nuggets tend to have a lot of added salt, and even fresh poultry is often injected with added sodium solutions. Just 3 ounces of frozen and breaded nuggets (about the size of the palm of your hand) can add nearly 600 milligrams of sodium. Check the label to find out if your poultry has been plumped up with a salt solution – a 4 ounce serving shouldn’t have more than 100 milligrams of sodium.
- Burritos and Tacos. Did you know that two teaspoons of packaged taco seasoning can have 411 mg of sodium? There are so many ways to build a better taco with less sodium and big flavor. Instead of store-bought seasoning, you can make your own by combining ½ teaspoon each of cumin, oregano, chili powder and garlic powder for a total of 42 mg of sodium.
I want to know your tips for making smarter choices when it comes to the Salty Six – leave a comment and let me know!