Well Being

Beware Of Sodium In These “Salty Six” Foods, Says American Heart Association

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When it comes to sodium in our diets (and the fact that Americans consume nearly twice as much as we're supposed to), it's not always a matter of just cutting the chips and french fries. According to the American Heart Association, we need to be aware of hidden sources of salt in other less obvious foods that they have dubbed the “Salty Six.”

According to the AHA, the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, which is more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended limit. The culprit for that excess? Processed food and restaurant food.

In a press release, Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., R.D., a research nutritionist at Northwestern University and an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association volunteer explained:

Excess sodium in our diets has less to do with what we’re adding to our food and more to do with what’s already in the food. The average individual is getting more than double the amount of sodium that they need, but there are ways to improve their sodium intake under their control.

To help you do that, the AHA has assembled a list of the top sources for sodium in today’s diet, aka, “the salty six”:

Breads and rolls. “It can be deceiving because a lot of bread doesn’t even taste salty, but one piece can have as much as 230 milligrams of sodium,” the AHA writes. “That’s about 15 percent of the recommended amount from only one slice, and it adds up quickly.” Yikes. Consider an open-faced sandwich next time.

Cold cuts and cured meats. Even foods that would otherwise be considered healthy may have high levels of sodium. Deli or pre-packaged turkey can contain as much as 1,050 milligrams of sodium. It’s added to most cooked meats so they don’t spoil after a few days.

Pizza. Sure, we know pizza is loaded with carbs, fat and calories, but salt? It seems so. One slice can contain up to 760 milligrams of sodium, says the AHA. Make it a two-slice night and you could be consuming your entire day's worth of salt in one sitting.

Poultry. Moderate amounts of lean, skinless, grilled chicken are OK, even though they may contain an added sodium solution. But where you really need to be careful is with chicken nuggets. Just three ounces of frozen, breaded nuggets can add nearly 600 milligrams of salt to your body, says the AHA.

Soup. “…when you take a look at the nutrition label it’s easy to see how too much soup can quickly turn into a sodium overload,” writes the AHA. In fact, just one cup of canned chicken noodle soup can have up to 940 milligrams of salt. Instead, look for low-sodium options when shopping.

Sandwiches. “We already know that breads and cured meats may be heavy on the sodium,” warns the AHA. “Add them together, then add a little ketchup or mustard and you can easily surpass 1,500 milligrams of sodium in one sitting.” That includes any type of meat sandwich, including hamburgers. Sorry.

Photo: shutterstock.com

 

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