Most of us know that fast food and frozen foods are high in sodium. Then there are the chips and other snack foods that tend to be doused in the white stuff. It’s fairly obvious to most people that these foods are high in sodium. But what about other foods that we might not realize are high in salt?
Here are 10 surprising foods that are high in sodium:
Packaged Cereals— Most people realize that packaged cereals are frequently high in a different white stuff—sugar—but sodium content is the other dirty little secret of most ready-to-eat cereals. Be sure to check the sodium content of the cereal you eat. For example, some brands of raisin bran cereal can contain up to 250 mg/cup. Pay attention to the serving size as well. It’s rare that people will pour themselves one cup of cereal. Most people eat more cereal than this in a single serving. If you eat 2 cups of this particular cereal you’d be getting 500 mg of sodium. In other words: a lot.
Spaghetti Sauce— Some brands of spaghetti sauce can contain up to 554 mg of sodium for a one-half cup serving. When was the last time you ate pasta with only a half cup of sauce? Probably never. One-half cup of sauce barely coats pasta.
Canned Vegetables— One cup of canned green beans contains approximately 332 mg of sodium while fresh green beans contain about 7 grams. Canned beans have 47 times as much salt as fresh beans. And beans aren’t the only canned vegetables high in sodium. One cup of creamed corn can contain as much as 730 mg of sodium.
Bottled Vegetable Juice—Bottled vegetable juices tend to contain plentiful amounts of sodium. As an example, bottled vegetable cocktail can contain as much as 479 mg of sodium per serving.
Ketchup— Most people know that ketchup tends to contain a lot of sugar, but might not expect to find much sodium in the condiment. Only 1 tablespoon of ketchup (most people use more than that!) contains 167 mg of sodium.
Relish— Ketchup isn’t the only condiment that’s high in salt. One tablespoon or relish contains approximately 122 mg of sodium as well.
Spice Mixtures— Many spice mixtures contain salt or MSG (monosodium glutamate, which is a chemically-altered amino acid and sodium combination). Some spice blends contain as much as 300 mg of sodium in one-quarter teaspoon.
Deli or Packaged Meats— Most deli meats and packaged meats are high in sodium. For example, two slices of beef or pork salami contain about 362 mg of sodium. And, that doesn’t include any sodium found in the bread, condiments, or if you eat multiple sandwiches. It adds up.
Teriyaki Sauce— Just one tablespoon of Teriyaki sauce can contain a whopping 690 mg of sodium.
Soy Sauce—One tablespoon of soy sauce contains a shocking 1024 mg of sodium!
Keep in mind that most health experts recommend a maximum sodium intake of 2300 milligrams daily, while those with heart disease or high blood pressure are frequently advised to keep their sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams daily and to strive to obtain 4700 milligrams of potassium per day. Learn more about how much sodium is too much and why you need to consider potassium, too, in my article, “Surprising Source of Sodium Increases Risk of Heart Attack.”