8 Sneaky Foods That Are Surprisingly High In Sodium

Avatar By Tenby Lloyd | 25 October 2019 829 views
foods high in sodium

These 8 High-Sodium Foods Might Seem Healthy… But They’re Secretly Full Of Salt!

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Sodium, or salt, is an additive that often finds its way into your food, even when you think you are making healthy choices. It can be found in almost every item you eat and is a large part of why treats like potato chips or french fries taste so amazing. 

Too much sodium causes your blood pressure to increase. Over time, this puts you at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Even your kidneys can be affected, as they are unable to process the large quantities of salt you consume.

While too much salt can be harmful, your body does require small amounts. Around 185mg of sodium is actually needed by your body each day in order to function properly.

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The American Heart Association says that healthy adults should consume no more than 2,300mg per day. Ideally, you should only have 1,500mg per day.

Any amount over 2,300mg can lead to an increase in blood pressure and a decrease in the health of your heart. This is why it is important that you check labels and know how much sodium is hidden in your food.

Below we will look at common, seemingly “healthy foods” that you might not realize are surprisingly high in sodium.

1) Soup

For those who prefer to have a light lunch, soup is frequently seen as a healthy and filling option. But, unfortunately, soup is often packed full of sodium. One bowl can have over 950mg of salt hidden within. 

To cut down on this salty culprit, read the labels and aim for lower sodium options, such as Campbell’s Low Sodium version of Cream of Mushroom soup. This will take you down from 950mg to only 45mg per serving.

2) Ham

Serving up a plate of cold cuts or choosing a sandwich over a cheeseburger can feel like you’re making a healthy choice at mealtime. But ingredients such as ham can come with a huge helping of unwanted sodium. 

One small serving of ham can contain nearly 800mg of salt. That’s before you even consider other ingredients you may add, such as sauces or cheese.

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A healthier and far less salty alternative is to switch out that ham for something like shaved, roast chicken. This option cuts your sodium in half and generally only has 360mg.

3) Cottage Cheese

Often a staple in many diet-friendly meal suggestions, cottage cheese is high in protein but low in calories. Unfortunately, it’s also high in sodium, meaning your daily cottage cheese might not be so healthy after all.

A half-cup serving can have over 450mg of sodium hidden within, and that goes up if you add toppings or use it in baking. A better alternative is to use silken tofu as a replacement, which only contains around 36mg of sodium per serving.

4) Vegetable Juice

Before you reach for that next glass of V8, you may want to check the nutritional facts on the label. Vegetable juice sounds like a healthy drink option, one that has less sugar than other beverage choices. 

But a single serving of name-brand juices like V8 actually contains around 640mg of sodium. So what can you swap it for that reduces the salt? Make your own juice at home!

5) Salad Dressing

If you are asked to think of diet foods, the first thing to come to mind is probably a salad. Low in calories and full of nutrients, it’s hard to think of any reason this might not be so great for you.

While plain salad is perfect, the moment you add a store-bought dressing, you up the sodium content greatly. A small, two-tablespoon serving can easily pack well over 200mg of sodium. If you aren’t measuring your salad dressing, that can add up quickly.

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Before you buy a dressing, read labels carefully! And, if you want to really be sure you are cutting down your salt intake, you could always make your own tasty dressing at home.

6) Canned Vegetables

As long as you’re eating vegetables, that’s all that really matters, right? Wrong!

Fresh vegetables are nutrient-dense and low in natural sodium. But the moment you grab a canned version, you’re adding a lot of extra salt to your diet. 

Certain canned vegetables, such as beans, can have more than 450mg of sodium. However, you don’t need to eliminate them from your diet. Instead, simply rinse them under cold water to remove the majority of the added salt.

7) Tortillas

A wrap is a common go-to for those wanting a healthy meal. However, few people realize that it could be contributing to the overconsumption of sodium.

A large flour tortilla has around 800mg of sodium added, and this doesn’t include any meats, cheese, or sauces you add. 

Switching to corn tortillas bring that salt content down to only 11mg, so consider making the swap in order to keep your blood pressure down.

8) Veggie Burgers

If you love burgers but are looking to make healthier choices, you may have made the switch to veggie patties. While better for you overall, you may not realize that a lot of salt is used in order to make veggie burgers taste great.

One patty can have over 500mg of sodium! And the moment you add on that cheese and ketchup, that number shoots up even more.

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Keep your heart happy and make sure you check the sodium content on the label. If you are having trouble finding one that is low enough, opt to make your own veggie burger patties!


You don’t need to avoid sodium completely, but you do want to make sure that you reduce how much you eat on a daily basis. Many people end up significantly exceeding the recommended amount, simply because they don’t realize how much salt is hidden in everyday foods and ingredients.

Checking labels is the only way to be sure of how much you are taking in. Also, avoiding store-bought items in favor of homemade versions will allow you to control how much salt is added in.

The more aware you are, the more proactive you can be, ultimately leading to a happy, healthy heart and body.


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