I suffer from high blood pressure and my doctor’s first advice was to lower my salt intake to 1,500 mg a day or 500 mg per meal. I knew to stay away from bacon and potato chips, but what about other foods that are salty that I didn’t know about? Below is a list of five salty foods you may not even realize are sabotaging your low sodium diet.
According to a report by the Center of Disease Control (CDC), bread is number one on the CDC’s list of saltiest items because of the amount of bread Americans consume. One slice of Wonder Bread’s white bread has approximately 130 mg of salt per slice. Great Harvest Bread Company’s breads fluctuate from their High 5 Fiber with 230 mg of salt to their Nine Grain with 300 mg of salt. Two pieces of bread puts you over your salt intake limit for that meal! Consider switching to Great Harvest brown rice bread that offers less than 90 mg of sodium per slice.
Sargento’s sliced Colby Jack contains 125 mg of salt and Pepper Jack cheese contains 140 mg of salt per slice. This can be reduced eating Sargento’s reduced sodium cheeses. Sargento offers a reduced sodium Colby Jack and reduced sodium Pepper Jack which drop the sodium content to 90 mg a slice. However, Swiss cheese is always your lowest sodium option at only 60 mg a slice, lower than the other “low sodium” options.
What about a cheese as a snack? Baybel original flavor has 170 mg of salt for each round of mini cheese. The Laughing Cow wedges contain 190 mg of salt for each wedge. And be careful sprinkling cheese to top your soup or salad. One fourth cup of Sargento shredded cheddar contains 180 mg of salt.
The salad dressing that tops your salad is no better. Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar has 340 mg of salt per two tbsp and 360 for their Italian. Red Wine Oil and Vinegar contains 390 mg and the Lite Roasted Garlic Balsamic has 420 mg of salt, almost the full 500 mg allotted for your lunch!
Hidden Valley Original Ranch is better at 260 mg for two Tbsp and their Homestyle Italian offers a slightly lower 220 mg of salt. But your best option is straight olive oil and vinegar, which Newman’s Own offers for only 150 mg of salt.
Land O Lakes contains 90 mg for one tbsp of salted butter. That chocolate cookie recipe that calls for a stick of butter? You just dumped in 720 mg of salt. Fortunately, you can purchase unsalted butter. Land O Lakes unsalted butter contains no salt, so you can enjoy your cookies guilt free.
Peter Pan and Jiffy are almost identical with original creamy peanut butter containing 140 mg of salt per two tbsp. Crunchy peanut butter is slightly lower at 110 mg of salt. Specialty peanut butters Fifty 50 offers a no sugar added peanut butter (in creamy or crunchy styles) that contains zero salt!
Remember the hidden salt in your food when choosing a low sodium diet. Awareness is the key to maintain a healthy, heart safe lifestyle.
“Vital Signs: Food Categories Contributing the Most to Sodium Consumption” Center for Disease Control