Foods Which Have Hidden Sodium Content

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Twelve foods which have hidden salt content

For hundreds of years, salt has been used as a preservative, and is often still used today to extend shelf-life. Many food manufacturers also use salt as a flavouring, often combined with sugar, to save costs on using other herbs and spices to make food taste better.

Surveys have indicated that approximately 75% of an individual’s salt intake daily could come from processed and packaged foods, as well as takeaways or restaurants. The humble table salt-shaker may only account for the rest.

Here are twelve of the common foods rich in hidden sodium.

  • Bread and bread products like rolls, bagels etc, are relatively high in sodium. A large sandwich may contain up to .51grams, without taking the filling into consideration.
  • Pastries and cakes are also high in hidden sodium, and just one donut may contain up to a third of your daily maximum daily intake. To make matters worse, these tasty items have quite a bit of added refined sugar as well.
  • When buying pasta sauces, check the labels to see how much sodium has been added.
  • To improve the very bland taste of ready-to-eat frozen meals, the manufacturers add plenty of salt and sugar to get you coming back for more to the detriment of your health.
  • Canned soup is another product that the American Heart Association strongly advises that you avoid. Many soups contain up to a half teaspoon per cup, and as a can usually contains two cups, it can blow your entire daily sodium allowance.
  • Beware of smoked fish like haddock and smoked salmon. Both are high in added salt.
  • A chicken fillet is always marketed as very healthy. However, some crafty suppliers employ a process known as plumping whereby saltwater and chicken stock are injected into the raw chicken meat. This strange process theoretically enhances the flavour of the chicken and increases the weight, which means that the chicken you purchase may contain up to 30% saltwater. Of course because the fillet now weighs more, the supplier makes a killing.
  • Processed meats like polonies and bacon are overflowing with sodium contents, and other preservatives, all of which are bad for your heart.
  • Cheese is a significant source of dietary sodium, and even low-fat cottage cheese, can contain up to a half teaspoon per cup. Many people seem to be addicted to cheese, and it is often an integral part of any meal.
  • Spicy, flavourful stock cubes, which are added to soups and stews, each contain up to one teaspoon of sodium.
  • Veggie burgers may be a better option than a processed meat patty, but even the veggie kind have added salt for flavour, some more than others.
  • Most restaurant and takeout foods are loaded for flavour with sodium, sugar and saturated fats, giving your health a triple chance to take a dive! A survey conducted by a consumer watchdog group, which analyzed adult-sized meals at ten popular chain restaurants, provided surprising results. Almost 85% of the meals tested contained up to 2 teaspoons of salt, which is about 2 days’ worth of sodium in one meal.

Avoiding processed foods which are so prolific in the market is no easy task. A good starting point is to read the labels, and opt for those with the lowest sodium content.

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