More hidden sources of salt
Top 10 Hidden Sources of Salt: Page 2
6. Cured, smoked, and deli meats
Three ounces of sausage -- a very small serving -- contains 600-900 milligrams of sodium, while one hot dog has 600 to 800 milligrams. And that's just the beginning. Bacon? 621 milligrams per 3 ounces. One piece of beef jerky has more than 400 milligrams, while two slices of salami tops 600 milligrams. There are low-sodium deli meats available, but read labels carefully for the actual amount of sodium per serving rather than the percent reduced.
7. Products labeled "reduced salt" or "less sodium"
The key word here is "reduced" -- the definition of this term is that any product labeled "reduced sodium" must contain at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version of the same product. The problem is that if the original product had a high sodium content, then reducing that by 25 percent may not in fact result in a low-salt food.
8. Fast food, including "healthy" choices
It's probably no surprise that French fries aren't the best choice for those trying to avoid salt, but where many go wrong is in choosing supposedly healthier choices such as salads and sandwiches, which can be loaded with salt hidden in sauces and dressings. At McDonald's, a premium bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken has 1,010 milligrams of sodium, while a grilled chicken ranch BLT sandwich has 1,190 milligrams of sodium. Compare that to a large order of McDonald's fries, which contains 350 milligrams. Hamburgers are also big offenders, particularly once you add cheese; a double Whopper with cheese from Burger King or a Wendy's double cheeseburger with everything both weigh in with approximately 1,450 mg of sodium -- pretty much a full day's maximum for someone on a low-salt diet.
9. Products labeled "low fat" or "heart healthy"
This one's seriously counterintuitive; wouldn't you think products that make health claims, particularly regarding heart health, would be low in sodium? Not necessarily. An investigation by Consumer Reports found that low-fat processed foods are often higher in salt than their full-fat counterparts, probably because salt is added to compensate for the lost flavor that comes with reducing fat.
For example, Newman's Own low-fat Family Recipe Italian salad dressing has a whopping 730 milligrams of sodium per each 1.5-ounce serving. And Ruffles Original potato chips have 10 grams of fat and 160 milligrams of sodium, compared to the baked version with just 3 grams of fat but 200 milligrams of sodium. Specific heart-healthy claims can be misleading as well: Prego "Heart Smart" pasta sauce, which carries the American Heart Association logo, contains 430 milligrams of sodium in a half-cup serving; it's allowed to carry the AHA logo because it's low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
10. Salty sweets
We don't usually associate sweets with sodium. In fact, we think of them as just the opposite. But many prepared desserts are high in sodium, often from preservatives. Puddings and cream pie fillings can contain as much as 285 milligrams of sodium per serving, for example. One piece of gingerbread has 240 milligrams of sodium, cake has between 250 and 300 milligrams per piece, and even a crumb piecrust adds 180 milligrams of sodium to a slice of fruit pie.
Home baking uses sodium, too; one teaspoon of baking powder has 488 milligrams of sodium, and one teaspoon of baking soda (the amount used in classic chocolate chip cookies) introduces 1,259 milligrams of sodium per batch. Of course, that's not so much when you consider it on a per-cookie basis, but if you eat the whole batch over a couple of days, it's important to keep the sodium content in mind.