Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tidbit: Top sources of sodium in common foods

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued a “top 10” list of the most common foods that contribute sodium to everyone’s diet. Well, not exactly everyone, because a number of people I know are very aware and conscious about the sodium in their diet due to ongoing heart or kidney issues.

Here’s the Top 10 List (in no special order)
  1. Bread and rolls
  2. Cold cuts and cured meats
  3. Pizza
  4. Poultry
  5. Soups
  6. Sandwiches
  7. Cheese
  8. Pasta dishes
  9. Meat dishes
  10. Snacks
There are ranges of sodium in each category of these foods, depending on the brand. It really helps to compare the sodium on labels. For example, Healthy Request soups have about half the sodium of the regular version (400 milligrams vs. 800 milligrams per cup, in some cases).

And let’s pick on cheese for a minute.  Cheese does not seem that salty, right? But I had a chance to try low-sodium cheese once while working at the Kroger deli (we had it available because of a customer's special request).  The cheese did not taste at all like cheese, which told me that a good part of cheese's flavor comes from the sodium. 

For more info about the sodium in foods and ways to trim back, check out the CDC’s sodium page.  Remember, with sodium, every little bit adds up, so be aware and keep checking those labels.

By the way, have you tried Mrs. Dash instead of salt? The Chicken Grilling blend is great to use on baked chicken.

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