Did you know that a lot of common foods add more sodium to your diet than you might think? It’s not just the French fries and pretzels you need to watch out for.
That’s why the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association created the “Salty Six” – to show you the top six foods that contribute the most sodium to our diets. Even though these foods don’t necessarily taste salty, the sodium they have can add up when we eat them frequently. And most of the sodium we’re eating (more than 75 percent!) is already in our food before we buy it. That means that it’s not as much about how we handle the salt shaker as it is about what is already in our food.
Take a look at the foods in the Salty Six:
If you’ve read our article on Sodium and Your Health or seen our effects of excess salt infographic, you know that too much sodium is bad news for your heart health. It’s bad news for your appearance, too: extra sodium can make your body retain water, which can make your face feel puffy, give you bags under your eyes, increase swelling in your fingers and make your jeans look, and feel, tighter. Yikes!
A key point is that different brands and restaurant versions of the same kinds of foods can vary widely in sodium content. Compare nutrition labels and choose products with the lowest amount of sodium per serving.
You can also look for the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark at grocery stores and some restaurants to find foods that can be part of an overall healthy diet. With a little nutrition label know-how, you’ll be well on your way to healthier choices!
Later this week, be sure to read the Salty Scoop for a closer look at the Salty Six and tips for making smarter choices. In the meantime, leave a comment to share your own tips.