Most women report the need to cut back on sodium. Too much salt may cause high blood pressure and an increase in heart attack or stroke risk. Added salt can also leave you feeling bloated and limit your ability to button your jeans. But salt often lurks in surprising places. There’s more to saying no to the potato chips or hiding the salt-shaker.
While you may want to cut back on salt, you may not even realize that these foods are harming your goals.
Pasta Sauce (Tomato Sauce)
Tomato sauce and paste, unless otherwise marked, is high in sodium. One can of tomato sauce yields nearly 650 mg of sodium, which is four times the recommended amount. You don’t have to say goodbye to pasta, but opt for a low-sodium version that slashes the salt in half. There are also no-salt options that taste good and give you more control of your diet.
Most grocery store salad dressing contains high levels of salt. Even low-fat versions are high in sodium. It is important to read the labels and look for options that are marked as low-sodium or sodium-free. The best way to control your diet is to make your own salad dressing with olive oil and vinegar. This mixture is completely sodium-free.
Sandwich and deli meats are packed with sodium and preservatives. One slice of deli-style turkey has over 200 mg of salt and most people heap more than one slice atop a roll or two slices of bread. Imagine the salt consumption. It’s important to be aware of the salt level in rotisserie chicken, which yields nearly 100 mg of sodium per slice. It is a healthier alternative to deli meats, but not as good for you as veggies or low sodium meat choices.
Like most processed foods, pre-packaged and pre-seasoned rice is loaded with sodium. In just a half-cup of pre-seasoned brown or yellow rice there is nearly 750 mg of sodium. For a healthier option, stick with the plain grain rice bought in bulk and avoid pre-packaged rice.
Not all cheeses are high in sodium. Some cheeses, like Swiss and cheddar are better options when it comes to decreasing your salt intake. But, cheeses such as American rank high in sodium content. American cheese has nearly 500 mg of sodium per serving, which is three times the daily dose allowance. Many other cheeses contain half the salt that American cheese contains, but Swiss is the best choice when it comes to sodium. Swiss cheese contains only 20 meager mg of salt per slice. Parents should pay attention to the salt in the cheese they serve their kids and swap with Swiss over any other varieties.