We all know that a diet high in sodium isn't good for our health, but do we really understand how much is too much? Apparently not, according to new research from the American Heart Association. The new report that surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 American adults found that most Americans believe sea salt contains less sodium than table salt (wrong!) and that almost half believe that the main source of salt in their diet comes from the salt shaker (wrong again!). In fact, nearly three-quarters of sodium comes from processed foods in the American diet.
While you probably know that fast food, canned soup and microwavable meals are high in salt, we put together a list of five foods that are surprisingly high in sodium. No more getting tricked here!
5 High Sodium Foods That Will Surprise You
1. Cottage cheese. Sure, cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and protein, but with it comes a large amount of sodium. A normal half cup serving of 1 to 2 percent low-fat cottage cheese clocks in at 450 milligrams of sodium — a whopping 19 percent of your recommended daily allowance!
2. Canned vegetables. Opening up a can of veggies as a side or to put in a soup or in a pot of chili can boost nutrition in your diet, but know that those canned veggies (and most times beans, too) come with a price: salt. Just half a cup of canned sliced carrots has 370 milligrams of sodium, cream-style corn has 365 milligrams of sodium and diced tomatoes have 520 milligrams of sodium. Reduce your sodium intake by buying no-salt versions of your favorite canned veggies or — even better — buy fresh veggies!
3. Bread. Here's a shocker, most commercial breads have more than 100 milligrams of sodium per slice. And those specialty rolls, bagels and other breads and muffins that are so tasty? They can even have as much as 300 to 400 milligrams per serving. Again, look for low-sodium varieties of your favorite breads.
4. Cereal. Most of us think of cereal being more sweet than salty, but you'd be surprised by how much salt is lurking in your morning bowl. One cup of Raisin Bran has 300 milligrams of sodium, and one cup of granola has 200 milligrams of sodium. The best defense? Check those nutritional labels, ladies!
5. Deli Meats. When it comes to sneaky salt, you don't get much sneakier than the salt in deli meats. Just a one-ounce slice of turkey or chicken (the packaged kind you buy at the grocery store) will give you about 250 to 300 milligrams of sodium depending on the brand. Just one slice!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.