Our bodies need sodium to help maintain water and mineral balances and blood volume, but too much can have negative effects on your health. Experts recommend that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily—that’s about 1 teaspoon of salt. Learn how excess sodium in the following foods can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Breads and rolls: These are some foods that you eat several times a day– but watch out because eating a lot can add up the sodium content you are consuming. Always check labels and aim for the lower-sodium varieties whenever possible!
Cold cuts and cured meats: One 2 oz. serving or 6 thin slices of deli meat can contain as much as half of your days worth of recommended dietary sodium.
Pizza: One slice of pizza can contain as much as half your recommended dietary sodium for the day. Limit the cheese and add more veggies!
Poultry: Sodium levels can vary based on preparation methods. It’s important to choose wisely!
Soup: Sodium in one can of soup can contain 100 to as much as 940 milligrams which is more than half of your dietary recommended intake. Check labels and aim for lower sodium options!
Sandwiches: A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100% of your daily recommended sodium intake. Go for a half of a sandwich with a side salad instead!
Tips to cutting back sodium:
- Introduce additional flavor to your foods with herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame. These all add flavor without the extra sodium.
- Processed foods (anything in a box or bag) tend to be high in sodium because it helps preserve foods longer and increase flavor.
- Remember that “low-fat” or “low-calorie” doesn’t mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor.
- If you can’t find sodium-free varieties of canned vegetables, rinse the can’s contents in a colander under water before cooking to remove excess salt.
For more information, check out The American Heart Association website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/