Sodium may be an essential mineral for any diet, but more and more foods contain such a high level, that the recommended daily intake is often left behind after just a couple of meals. Discover how to reduce salt intake in your diet by avoiding sodium-rich foods.
How Much Sodium is Healthy?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended daily intake of sodium varies between 1,500 mg for people with high blood pressure to 2,300 or 2,400 mg for healthy adults.
These values are often ignored and the average American consumes 3,266 mg of sodium per day, over 40% of the recommended daily intake, increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke.
How to Reduce Salt Intake in Your Diet
Skipping the table salt is not the only way to reduce the salt intake and it may not even be necessary if you start paying attention to the sodium content in what you eat.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that 90 percent of U.S. adults get too much sodium every day and that’s mostly based on sodium-rich foods that go unnoticed.
Foods Highest in Sodium
For most people, the highest quantity of sodium comes from bread. In only 13 slices, you could go over the daily recommended intake.
Since salt has been used to preserve foods for a long time, it’s also present in high quantities in bouillon cubes, powdered broths, soups and gravies. Soy sauce, along with salad dressings and other sauces have a similarly high sodium content. When it comes to animal products, processed meat products have the highest content of sodium, specifically cold cuts and cured meats.
Fast food is a big offender and should be let go completely if you’re wondering how to reduce salt intake in diet. Pizza, along with sandwiches with processed ingredients and sauces all contain a lot of sodium. Snack foods, like pretzels, chips and popcorn also have very high levels of salt, along with pickled foods, that are usually preserved with salt. A single large pickled cucumber can contain up to half of the daily recommended sodium intake.
Sun dried tomatoes and cheese have equally high sodium levels and they raise the salt intake specifically when used in pasta mixed dishes and meat mixed dishes. Saltwater crab is also a dangerous source of sodium when eaten in large quantities. A single leg of Alaska King crab can have up to 60% of the recommended daily sodium intake.