When you hear high sodium food, you usually think salty snacks: pretzels, chips, crackers and the like. You may be surprised, however, that some of the highest sodium foods aren’t salty tasting at all.
We all should be cutting down on our sodium intake, as recommended by the 2010 American Dietary Guidelines, so head to your pantry and see if any of these sneaky sodium-packed foods have found there way into your kitchen.
Breakfast cereals are notorious for not only being packed full of sugar, but sodium as well. Cereals “are more concentrated in salt than 50 to 60 percent of the items in the salty snack aisle,” says Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center.
Chocolate milk may be a great workout recovery drink, but it has an average of 150 mg of sodium per serving, so sip sparingly. Remember- if you workout hard enough to need a recovery drink, which most people don’t, you are active enough that sodium might not be as harmful to you.
Salad dressing, even low-calorie versions, can hide 350 mg of sodium in just a two-tablespoon serving. You are always best to choose a little olive oil and vinegar, and if you’re feeling saucy, toss some lemon juice on there for a kick.
Ketchup, often thought of as a freebie condiment, has about 150 mg of sodium per tablespoon. It’s also packed with sugar, so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a healthy topper based on its relatively low calorie count.
Cottage cheese is a great diet-friendly substitute for things like salad dressings and cream cheese, but read your labels: certain brands have more than 400 mg of sodium in a 1/2 cup serving.
Which one of these surprises you the most? Does it change the way you feel about these foods?
March 31st, 2011