Sodium sneak attack: Watch out for these healthy favorites
We don’t know about you, but time can easily elude us when it comes to social media. Simple browsing can turn into an overabundance of pinboards, pictures and posts. The intake of sodium into our daily diet can elude us in much the same way.
Many foods that we consider healthy — veggies, grains and dairy — can sneak in with a swift sodium-sucker punch. Before we know it, a simple sprinkle of soy sauce has sent our daily recommended sodium soaring. Take note of the following foods with unexpectedly high sodium, and feel free to pin, picture and post.
Hold the cheese, please: Although cheese contains calcium and vitamin D, it also has a fair amount of sodium. A 1-oz. serving of cheese can contain anywhere from 175 mg (Cheddar) to 443 mg (American) of sodium. On first appearance, this may not seem excessive, but given the recommended 2,300 mg of daily sodium intake (1,500 for those 51 years and older), it may be an overindulgence worth slicing from your diet.
Can the canned vegetables: Unfortunately, canned veggies and sodium go together like peas and carrots. In fact, 1 cup of canned peas contains 428 mg of sodium, and 1 cup of carrots contains 353 mg. Keep vegetables in check by keeping them fresh — 1 cup of fresh peas contains a meager 6 mg of sodium, and 1 cup of fresh carrots, 76 mg. If you must “go canned,” look for brands with the label “contain less sodium.” Always rinse canned vegetables, beans and meat to further reduce sodium. Or, try substituting frozen vegetables for canned; they typically contain lower amounts of sodium.
Not so natural meat: Many healthy meat options like poultry and pork can be cloaked beneath the guises of “natural,” “fresh” and “organic.” Although these labels aren’t altogether false, they are not indicative of the sodium content and can be misleading. Indeed, meat that has not been cured, smoked or prepared with any kind of salt is relatively low in sodium — half a chicken breast contains around 60 mg to 75 mg of sodium. Most processed or packaged meat, no matter how “fresh” it may be labeled, can contain upward of 500 mg of sodium per serving — 3-oz. of seasoned roasted turkey contains 578 mg.
Bag the bagged bread: Although one slice of processed wheat bread contains about half the amount of sodium (148 mg) as a slice of white bread (300 mg), by the time you’ve made a PB&J, you’ve reached the 300-mg sodium mark on bread alone. Instead of a PB&J, try opting for 1 tablespoon of natural crunchy peanut butter with apple slices — you’ll be satisfying your sweet and salty crave with a mere 78 mg of sodium.
Serious cereal sodium: Shredded wheat, raisin bran and oatmeal, oh my! Somewhere over the rainbow these seemingly healthy cereal selections are low in sodium. Sadly, raisin bran and fellow packaged cereals contain close to 300 mg of sodium per cup, sometimes even more. If possible, combine your own version of unprocessed grains, nuts, oats and berries for a cereal of Oz-inspired proportions and cut your sodium down by more than half.