The Top 20 High-Sodium Foods to Avoid
Your risk of getting high blood pressure, which can result in a number of health issues, can rise if you consume too much sodium. Salt, which contains 40% sodium and 60% chloride, is the most prevalent form of sodium that humans ingest on a daily basis. It is used as a flavour component in both home and restaurant cookery. Salt has long been linked to hypertension, which, when consistently elevated, damages the arteries and blood vessels. Your risk of having heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and kidney illness increases as a result.
The typical table salt that Americans adore and use far too much of is sodium chloride. Unluckily for those who enjoy savoury foods, a diet heavy in sodium can cause serious health problems.
Vitality of Sodium
An electrolyte is a mineral that creates electrically charged ions, such as sodium. The veins in your body contain the majority of the salt in your body. But it's also in the fluids that surround your cells. The equilibrium of fluids is maintained by sodium. For muscles and neurons to work properly, sodium is essential. It controls the equilibrium of bodily fluids as well. Your kidneys help your body regulate its salt levels. They accomplish this by altering the salt content of your urine. Additionally, sweating allows the body to expel salt.
Risks of Sodium
A vital nutrient is sodium. The body cannot function without it. However, too much salt might interfere with the body's normal processes. Having a balanced salt intake is so crucial. Risks associated with sodium typically come from either consuming too little or too much. Both carry similar risks.
Because of processed foods and preservatives used to extend shelf life, sodium (salt) intake in both adults and children is far greater than it should be. A reading of 120/80 is considered normal, however up to 6 out of 10 people with high blood pressure attribute it to a diet high-sodium foods. The body suffers when there is high-sodium foods in the diet, and diseases may develop more quickly as a result. There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for salt because it is typically present in sufficient amounts in our meals. The typical American takes in 4,000 milligrammes per day. The American Heart Association advised a daily salt restriction of 1,500 mg/day for adults of all ages in January 2010.
Conditions That Could Be Caused by High-Sodium foods
· Hypertension (high blood pressure)
· Congestive heart failure
· Gastric ulcers
· Stomach cancer
However, salt is essential for several vital body processes, including muscular contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, and fluid homeostasis. So how much salt is safe to consume daily? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) most recent dietary recommendations advise limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrammes (mg), or just 1 teaspoon, each day. The AHA suggests limiting your intake to 1,500 mg, but if that's not currently feasible for you, reducing it by only 1,000 mg may still help lower your blood pressure.
While most people are aware that it's advisable to avoid high-salt foods like French fries and movie theatre popcorn, you should also be on the lookout for less obvious items that are high-sodium foods. Here are some hidden salt mines to avoid, from bread to canned vegetables. Table salt, also referred to as sodium chloride chemically, contains 40% sodium. According to estimates, at least 50% of hypertensive individuals have salt sensitivity, which means their blood pressure is influenced by sodium intake. Additionally, being older makes you more susceptible to salt sensitivity. In terms of sodium, the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) is 2,300 mg, or around 1 teaspoon of salt.
Here are 10 foods to stay away from that are rich in salt:
1. Processed meats: These include foods that can contain a lot of sodium, such as deli meats, bacon, gammon and sausage. Jerky and other dried meats are portable and a good source of protein, but salt is used frequently to preserve them and give them flavour. One ounce (28 grammes) of beef jerky, for instance, contains 620 mg of sodium, or 27% of the RDI. If you enjoy jerky, try to find meat from animals that were reared organically or on grass-fed diets as they tend to have shorter ingredient lists and lower sodium content. However, make careful to read the label.
2. Canned soups: Even canned soups labelled as healthful alternatives might contain a lot of salt. Although there are reduced-sodium options for some canned kinds, canned, packaged, and restaurant-prepared soups frequently include a lot of sodium. Although certain soups also contain sodium-rich flavourings such monosodium glutamate (MSG), the majority of the sodium in foods comes from salt. Per 1-cup (245-gram) serving, canned soup typically contains 700 mg of sodium, or 30% of the RDI.
3. Frozen dinners: High-sodium foods are frequently used as a preservative and flavour enhancer in frozen meals and entrées. The salt content of many frozen meals is considerable; some of them have at least half of your daily sodium allowance in each serving. Since salt levels within a single product line can vary greatly, read the labels of each variety carefully. A frozen meal must contain no more than 600 mg of sodium to be considered healthy, according to the FDA. When buying frozen meals, you can use this number as a realistic salt cap. Still, cooking your own food is healthier.
4. Macaroni and cheese: This popular comfort food has a lot of sodium, primarily from the salty cheese sauce. A recent investigation, however, indicates that manufacturers may have reduced the salt content of macaroni and cheese by 10% on average. According to recent research, the dry mix needed to make a 1-cup (189-gram) portion of macaroni and cheese typically contains 475 mg of salt, or 20% of the RDI. Consider buying a whole grain variety of macaroni and cheese and thinning the dish by adding some veggies, such broccoli or spinach, if you only want to sometimes consume this food.
5. Biscuits: Even though you enjoy it, this traditional breakfast item contains a lot of salt. In a study, researchers discovered that packaged biscuits contain a lot of sodium. Some biscuits had as much as 800 mg of sodium in them. Therefore, be careful when selecting your morning treats. Too many salted cookies could seriously injure you, therefore you should avoid them.
6. Pizza: Pizza frequently has significant levels of sodium because of the cheese, cured meats, and prepared sauce. Nearly half of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from pizza and other multi-ingredient foods. When mixed, the salt content of many of the ingredients, including cheese, sauce, dough, and processed meat, quickly increases. The average amount of salt in a big, 140-gram piece of frozen pizza is 765 mg, or 33% of the RDI. The sodium content of a similar-sized slice from a restaurant is much higher, averaging 957 mg, or 41% of the RDI. If you consume more slices, the salt soon accumulates. Limit your intake to one slice and finish your meal with low-sodium items, like a leafy green salad with a low-sodium dressing.
7. Bread and rolls: The salt content of even seemingly harmless bread and rolls can be significant.
8. Baked beans: In contrast to other canned beans, baked beans cannot be rinsed with water to remove part of the salt because doing so would also remove the tasty sauce. Baked beans with sauce contain 524 mg of sodium, or 23% of the RDI, in a 1/2-cup (127-gram) portion. Even though homemade baked bean recipes may not have any less sodium, you can adjust them to have less salt added.
9. Shrimp: Preservatives high-sodium foods are frequently added to packaged, basic, frozen prawns for flavour. Sodium tripolyphosphate, for instance, is frequently added to aid reduce moisture loss during thawing. As much as 800 mg of salt, or 35% of the RDI, may be found in a 3-ounce (85-gram) meal of frozen, unbreaded prawns. Similarly salty prawns are breaded and fried. In contrast, a serving of fresh, caught prawns that is 3 ounces (85 grammes) in size and devoid of salt and other seasonings has just 101 mg of sodium, or 4% of the RDI. If possible, choose freshly caught prawns. You can also look for additive-free frozen prawns at a health food store.
10. Cheese: Some varieties of cheese have more salt than others, and cheese generally has a lot of it. Although cottage cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, it also contains a lot of salt. Cottage cheese typically contains 350 mg of salt per 1/2 cup (113 grammes), or 15% of the RDI. In addition to enhancing flavour and contributing to texture, salt serves as a preservative in cottage cheese. Therefore, low-sodium versions are typically not available. But according to one study, draining cottage cheese after 3 minutes of rinsing under running water cuts the salt content by 63%.
11. Pickles and other pickled foods: Similar to pickles and olives, pickled vegetables are frequently preserved in a salty brine. One 1-ounce (28-gram) spear of dill pickle, the kind that may be served with a deli sandwich, contains about 241 mg of sodium, or 10% of the RDI. Whole pickles have a quicker salt buildup. 561 mg of sodium, or 24% of the RDI, may be found in one medium-sized dill pickle. If you're on a regimen that limits your sodium intake, limit your intake of pickles.
12. Instant pudding: Even though custard doesn't taste salty, the instant custard mix contains a lot of sodium. The source of this sodium is salt, together with the sodium-containing thickening agents disodium phosphate and tetrasodium pyrophosphate that are used to thicken instant pudding. 350 mg of sodium, or 15% of the RDI, may be found in a 25-gram serving of instant vanilla custard mix, which is used to make a serving of 1/2 cup. In contrast, 135 mg, or 6% of the RDI, of salt are included in the same amount of ordinary vanilla custard mix.
13. Soy sauce: A common ingredient in many Asian dishes, soy sauce also has a high salt content. When preparing or serving food, sauces can add flavour, but some of that flavour comes from salt. A 1-tablespoon (15-ml) portion of soy sauce has 1,024 mg of sodium, or 44% of the RDI, making it one of the saltiest condiments. The amount of salt in barbecue sauce is also fairly high; 2 teaspoons (30 ml) contain 395 mg of sodium, or 17% of the RDI. To keep levels low, you can either manufacture your own sauces, such soy sauce, or purchase reduced-sodium versions of some sauces.
14. Sandwiches: Another multi-ingredient food that accounts for over half of the sodium Americans eat is the sandwich. The sodium content of sandwiches is significantly increased by the bread, processed meat, cheese, and condiments that are frequently used. For instance, a 6-inch cold cut submarine sandwich typically contains 1,127 mg of sodium, or 49% of the RDI. By selecting unprocessed sandwich toppings, like grilled chicken breast with sliced avocado and tomato, you can drastically reduce your sodium intake.
15. Snack foods: The sodium content of chips, pretzels, and other snack items is frequently high, especially if they are flavoured.
16. Tomato sauce: Checking the salt content of a can of simple tomato sauce or other canned tomato products may not occur to you, but you should. Tomato sauce contains 321 mg of salt, or 14% of the RDI, in just 1/4 cup (62 grammes). Fortunately, it's easy to get canned tomato products without salt.
17. Ham: Because salt is used to season and cure the meat, gammon has a high sodium content. Roasted gammon typically contains 1,117 mg of sodium per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving, or 48% of the RDI. There are no indications that food manufacturers are reducing how salty they salt this popular meat. Researchers recently discovered that gammon had a 14% greater salt content than in the prior investigation after sampling cuisines across the country. Instead of consuming a full dish of gammon, think about using it sometimes as a little condiment.
18. Condiments: When used liberally, ketchup, mustard, and other condiments can contain a lot of salt. It's crucial to be aware of the amount of sodium in the foods you eat and to make an effort to select lower-sodium options wherever possible.
19. Hot dogs and bratwurst: A hot dog or bratwurst link had an average sodium content of 578 mg, or 25% of the RDI, in a recent survey of packaged goods from the US. However, the sodium content of the sample of these processed meats ranged from 230 to 1,330 mg, which implies that if you carefully read labels, you might find lower-sodium options. However, it is advisable to reserve processed meats for special occasions rather than eating them frequently. The World Health Organisation (WHO) issues a warning that consuming processed meats puts you at risk for developing some malignancies.
20. Boxed potato casseroles: Scalloped potatoes and other cheesy potato recipes from boxes include a lot of salt. Some also include preservatives and salt from MSG. 450 mg of sodium, or 19% of the RDI, is included in a 1/2-cup (27-gram) serving of dry scalloped potato mix, which yields a 2/3-cup cooked serving. Everyone would benefit more if they switched from packaged potatoes to other nutrient-dense starches like roasted sweet potatoes or winter squash.
The maximum daily sodium intake of 2,300 mg is often greatly exceeded. Additionally, as you get older, you have a higher chance of having salt-sensitive high blood pressure. It's recommended to limit processed, packaged, and restaurant foods if you want to reduce your sodium intake because they often sneak in a lot more salt than you might realise. In particular, processed meats like gammon, cold cuts, jerky, hot dogs and sausage are high in salt. Even basic, frozen prawns are frequently given treatments that are high in salt.
The sodium content of convenience foods is also high. Examples include boxed potatoes, canned soup, instant pudding, meal helpers, frozen meals, pizza and salty snacks like pretzels and pork rinds. Both excessive and low salt intake might result in harmful health problems. Therefore, it is usually advised to consume a balanced amount of salt. Neither more nor less.