Here are some common sodium culprits and their range of sodium per serving:
- Canned soup – 700-1,260 mg (46.67-84%)*
- Frozen cheese pizza – 450-1,200 mg (30-80%)*
- Salted pretzels – 290-560 mg (19.33-37.33%)*
- Salad dressing – 110-505 mg (7.33-33.67%)*
Why is there so much sodium in our prepackaged foods? Salt (or sodium chloride) helps prevent foods from spoiling. It also brings out the flavors in food—making cakes and cookies sweeter. And the diet soda you love? Well, salt helps mask its metallic or chemical aftertastes.
So what’s a processed food-lover supposed to do? Well, eat more fruits and vegetables (that message never gets old) and read the “nutritional facts” panel on the foods you buy. Registered dietitian Brandy Baxter recommends looking for foods with less than 500 mg per serving. Here are some more tips from Brandy:
- Eat foods labeled “low sodium or “no salt added”
- Find nutrition information of major fast food chain menu items online (before you pull up to the drive-thru)
- When dining out, avoid sauces—they’re loaded with salt.
- Skip the soy sauce when eating Asian foods.
- At a restaurant, don’t eat the skin of your baked potato. It’s often treated with salt.
By Anne Gill