The average person in the U.S. consumes about 3,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, which is equivalent to almost 2 teaspoons. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests an intake 2,300 mg per day of salt. Based on these statistics, it is clear that Americans are consuming a teaspoon or more of salt than our recommended daily intake. This is alarmingly because too much sodium in one’s diet can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and adverse kidney problems.
Interestingly, the majority of our excess salt intake isn’t from the salt shaker, but processed foods. Many of us are good at looking at the calories per serving in a meal, but not the sodium content. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The FDA recently announced a plan to gradually scale back the amount of sodium allowed into processed foods.
Here are five surprisingly salty foods found at your local grocery store. Notice most of these are low calorie options, which tricks the consumer into thinking they are choosing a healthy option.
• Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Italian Salad Dressing – 440 mg every 2 tbsp
Fresh veggies—like spinach, tomatoes, and carrots—are typically low in sodium. Don’t ruin your salad by using dressings that are heavy on the salt.
• Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup – 940 mg per ½ cup serving
One cup of this soup would supply you with 80% of your daily intake of sodium.
• Lean Cuisine Baja-Style Chicken Quesadilla – 690 mg per meal
Frozen meals are often full of sodium. Although low in calories, it delivers almost 30% of your daily sodium intake.
• Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice – 1,250 mg per 1-cup serving
This side dish contains more than 50% of your daily amount of sodium.
• Vlasic Kosher Dill Whole Pickles – 880 mg per pickle
If you eat the whole thing, you’ve consumed more than one-third of your daily sodium.
To see the remaining 20 items listed in the article: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20365078_1,00.html
In the meantime, keep an eye out for excess sodium and adjust your intake accordingly.