Americans love salty foods. Whether the person is reaching for the table salt, snacking on popcorn and French fries, or opting for frozen dinners at the supermarket, the average American consumes more than 3,000mg of sodium daily. Consider that the body only needs about 500mg per day to function properly, and no more than 1,500mg per day is recommended.
The problem is that too much salt can wreak havoc on your body in more ways than one. Excess sodium causes your body to retain fluid, which will not only leave you feeling bloated, but can also lead to high blood pressure. This is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and it accounts for two-thirds of all strokes and half of all heart disease cases.
While most people are able to recognize some of the more obvious sodium-rich foods, it is important to be on the lookout for the lesser-known ones and try to steer clear of them as much as possible.
#1: Deli Meats
The packaged meats you use to make sandwiches can be more dangerous than you think. Simply put, two slices of those thinly sliced deli meats, with which you fill your favorite sandwiches, have more sodium than a bag of pretzels (that is 450mg).
#2: Frozen Breaded Meals
Although they are convenient and might cost less, frozen meals like pizza or meatloaf dinners can contain up to 1,800mg of sodium, which is enough to put you over the daily limit in just one sitting.
#3: Flour Tortillas
We are including breads and rolls under this category, even though all grains are not the same. A normal six-inch flour tortilla can contain more than 200mg of sodium, and that is before including all the sodium-rich ingredients you add to burritos and tacos. Instead, try to go for plain corn tortillas, which contain only 11mg of sodium for the same size. Better yet, use lettuce leaves, which contain no sodium at all!
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one single dill pickle can contain between 500 and 1,100mg of sodium. That is close enough to the recommended sodium allowance for the entire day. If you enjoy pickles and don’t want the high salt content, try making our recipe by clicking here.
#5: Soy Sauce
There is no question that soy sauce is a very flavorful ingredient. Unfortunately, one tablespoon of soy sauce contains around 902mg of sodium. Now consider that the dishes you consume with this ingredient contain more than one tablespoon of it. You can opt for coconut aminos, which is a healthier cleanse-approved option.
#6: Canned Vegetables
Keep it as a rule of thumb that anything in a can could be a sodium bomb. That is because most companies use salt as a preservative. An average can of vegetables contain up to 1,300mg of sodium. Try to avoid canned vegetables and buy fresh vegetables instead.
#7: Buttermilk Pancakes
Although you may think that if you skip the bacon in the morning you’ll be good with your salt levels, you may not know that buttermilk pancakes are very high in sodium. A single pancake contains up to 600mg, but consider that the average person eats two or three in one sitting.
When it comes to reducing your sodium intake, try to opt for fresh, raw ingredients (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds), so that you can prepare your own meals. If you are buying foods that aren’t raw, make sure to read the nutrition labels. Most importantly, try to avoid highly processed or canned foods.