Did You Know?Foods that don't taste salty can also be high in sodium content. Apparently, bread is the biggest contributor of sodium in our diet. In fact, people get most of their sodium from breads and rolls, and not from chips and pretzels.
Americans consume an average of 3,400 mg of sodium on a daily basis, when the recommended daily intake is only 2,000 to 2,300 mg a day. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), most Americans have already exceeded their sodium limit, even before adding salt into their cooking! Most of our salt comes from restaurant meals and processed foods, while barely anything comes from the food we eat at home.
According to a survey conducted by the watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest
, it was revealed that about 85 of 102 meals at popular restaurants contained much more than an entire day's sodium amount. This doesn't sound good. Keeping a tab on our sodium intake is very essential because it helps control and keep hypertension, heart diseases, and other ailments away.
List of Low-sodium Packaged Foods
Food manufacturers have a knack of working their way around food labels. They mention the daily value of sodium in percentage; however, what should be focused upon is the amount of sodium per serving. A low-sodium food item should contain less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. However, foods like canned soups, frozen foods, condiments, etc., contain way more sodium. While the best thing to do would be to avoid these foods, in situations wherein avoiding is not an option, brands with lower sodium content will have to be chosen. Let's take a look at the different brands which have comparatively lower sodium content.
Amy's Light in Sodium Shepherd's Pie
Frozen meals are convenient but sodium-loaded meals. Amy's Shepherd's Pie is not only prepared from organic ingredients, but is also lower in sodium content. It contains about 290 mg of sodium, per serving of 8 ounces. Moreover, this pie is also a meatless and dairy-free version, wherein the vegetables have been cooked in a broth and topped with lovely mashed potatoes. So, if you're short on time and really need to resort to a frozen meal, go for this option.
Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats Cereal
Cereals have always been touted to be the 'perfect breakfast item'; however, not many are aware of the fact that these high-fiber morning breakfast foods have hidden sodium content. Most cereal brands contain about 160 to 290 mg of sodium, which isn't an ideal way to start the day. Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal contains no added sodium. Even their flavored versions have no sodium content, which makes this cereal brand the ideal pick.
R.W. Knudsen Family Very Veggie Juice
Who thought vegetable juice could be adding to our daily sodium intake! Well, the packaged vegetable juices aren't as saintly as we imagined them to be. They can easily contain 250 to 500 mg of sodium. However, these days, the low-sodium options are available, of which R.W. Knudsen Family Very Veggie juice contains only about 65 mg of sodium. Their organic juice contains 50 mg of sodium, which is far lower than that offered by the other brands.
Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle Soup
Packaged soups contain unimaginably high sodium content (600 - 800 mg of sodium). While it's best to consume homemade soup, there may be days when you desperately need a hot bowl, with no time to prepare it from scratch. In such cases, the best option would be to go for the ones with low amounts of added salt. The Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle soup contains 390 mg of sodium per serving, which is far lower than the sodium found in other brands.
Pepperidge Farm Bread Stone Ground 100% Natural Whole Wheat Bread
Research indicates that bread is known to be the biggest contributor of sodium in our diet. It contains anywhere between 100 to 250 mg of sodium per slice. This means that we seriously need to do something about our bread intake. It's best to avoid bread on a regular basis, and even when you want to have it, try getting your local baker to bake it without salt. If that's not an option, pick the low-sodium versions. Pepperidge Farm Bread 100% Whole Wheat Stone Ground bread contains only 90 mg of sodium, per 1 oz. slice.
Boar's Head Lacey Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese contains lesser sodium than the other cheese types; however, the content will differ from one Swiss cheese brand to another. Boar's Head Lacey Swiss cheese contains only 35 mg of sodium, per 1 oz. serving of cheese. This cheese also contains 25% less fat, which makes it a better option. Moreover, Boar's Head's Low Sodium Muenster cheese contains only 75 mg of sodium (1 oz. serving). So, if you're looking for a cheese to put into your sandwich, you can go for this one.
Pacific Natural Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, Low Sodium
Homemade chicken broth is always better and healthier compared to the store-bought versions, because it is not so salty. Packaged broths are loaded with sodium; however, you also have the low-sodium versions which are better than the regular ones. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth contains only about 70 mg of sodium per serving (1 cup: 240 ml).
Walnut Acres Organic Low Sodium Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
Pasta sauces that are ready to add and serve can be convenient, but also high in sodium content. They can contain about 600 mg of sodium in just ½ cup of pasta sauce. Pasta sauces with low sodium content contain about 20 - 50 mg of sodium per ½ cup serving. Walnut Acres Organic Low Sodium Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce contains only 20 mg of sodium per ½ cup (125 mg). Moreover, it's prepared from organically grown tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, black pepper, oregano, and cane juice, which makes it even healthier.
The best way to reduce sodium intake is by limiting the amount of processed foods consumed. Consume more of fresh fruits and vegetables and foods with no added salt. Moreover, make it a habit to peruse through the food labels. This will help identify the brand with lower sodium content. If you happen to go to a restaurant, keep your portions small. This will help you reduce your overall sodium and calorie intake. Moderation is the key, so eat wisely!