What is life without salt? People across the globe simply can’t resist a savory taste brought about by sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt. Even back in the ancient times, salt has already been a seasoning basic. It not only preserves food, but also improves its flavor.
However, doctors recommend to slow down on the salt intake. Too much sodium in the body causes increased blood volume, which consequently makes the heart pump harder and the blood vessels work harder than their normal load. It is for this reason that cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack and high blood pressure, are associated with high sodium consumption.
Ideally, an average Australian must only consume a 1.15 to 2.3 grams of salt daily. Because of the rather sedentary lifestyle and proliferation of unhealthy food options these days, Australians must only consume less than the lower limit which is equivalent to 400 milligrams.
While there are high-sodium foods that are easy to avoid because of their apparent saltiness, such as potato chips and popcorn, there are several others difficult to distinguish. A low-sodium diet is, therefore, a tricky task. But it is possible. Here are the surprising high-sodium foods you should include in your watch list.
You assume that it’s okay to consume hotdogs, hams, bacons, and other processed meat cuts because they are not that salty to begin with. Bear in mind that all processed cold cuts are sodium bombs. An average-sized hotdog contains about 700 mg of salt already. If you take three for breakfast, you’re already exceeding the allowable sodium limit, more so if you pair it with bread.
An Aussie meal is incomplete without a hint of bread. While breads have bland taste, they are surprisingly high in sodium. Even whole wheat breads are not exempt since some brands forget about the sodium concentration and focus instead on the fiber and sugar content. A slice of bread contains about 240 to 400 mg of sodium. Thus, you should always read the label.
Cereals saturate the Australian market these days. Because they are relatively quick to prepare, people prefer them for breakfast or snacks. But not many know that some cereal brands are sodium-rich, even though they are advertised as nutritious and delicious. About 170 to 300 mg of sodium is present in a single serving of cereal.
You may be made to believe that cheese is alright to consume in large amounts; it is enriched with calcium, protein, and other essential minerals anyway. Unfortunately, even those advertised as low-fat cottage cheese have an astounding 450 mg of sodium that is absorbed by the body with just half a serving.
With the lack of time, most people rush the meal preparation process. Instead of buying fresh produce, which have a shorter shelf life and take longer time to prepare, they purchase canned vegetables that are already sliced and sometimes seasoned, ready for cooking. For instance, consuming half a cup of canned carrots already costs you 370 mg of salt. If you pair this with canned tomatoes, you consume another dose of 520 mg of sodium. In one meal, you already exceeded your sodium dietary limit. So you really need to read the label before buying and between buying frozen veggies and canned vegies, choose the frozen ones.
Consuming juices enables you take in the needed nutrients daily. However, fruit and vegetable juices contain high sodium, although they often taste sweet. On an average, a swooping 600 milligrams is found in a cup of juice.
On the surface, a bowl of canned soup appears to be a healthy option. It fills in your stomach with warmth and nutrients. But there is a real sodium danger when you take in too much canned soup. For instance, a single serving of a canned chicken soup is loaded with approximately 830 mg of sodium.
Sauces and Condiments
Sauces, such as teriyaki (880 mg of sodium) and spaghetti sauce (580 mg of sodium per half serving), are not excluded from the list of foods considered as sodium bombs. The same holds true for condiments like ketchup (154 mg of sodium per tablespoon) and sweet relish (120 mg of sodium per tablespoon).
Now that you know that not all sodium-rich foods are salty, some are sweet and buttery, you should take extra caution in buying products. Read the label and find alternatives. There are several brands nowadays that undertake special efforts in lowering their sodium content to serve the demands of the growing health-conscious consumers. Yet, if you can, always stick to fresh produce.