We all need sodium in our diets, but excessive sodium is seriously bad for our health. According to Reader's Digest, too much salt can cause cognitive decline, bloating, kidney stones, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and more harmful repercussions.
Lots of the delicious foods we enjoy regularly can be loaded with sodium and some of them don't even taste particularly salty. Hidden salt found in prepackaged and preserved foods can contain more than a day's worth of sodium in just one serving. All this salt is unhealthy and too many of us are feeding into our salt cravings every day.
These 3 foods below are enjoyed all the time and many people have no idea how high in sodium they can be. Before you consider eating any of these foods in the future, check out their sodium levels and make your choice with a grain of salt.
1. Canned Soup (Instant soups too)
A piping hot bowl of soup may hit the spot on a cold winter's day or when we're feeling under the weather, but many varieties of canned and instant soup have so much sodium that you'll bowl over with disbelief. And those beloved Nissin Top Ramen? One packet has 1,820 mg sodium! Grab a big glass of water to wash that snack down.
As per Health, "One bowl (of soup) could contain half the recommended sodium limit for the day." SFGATE notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends, "that individuals consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that certain groups limit intake to 1,500 milligrams per day."
To avoid this salt trap, always check labels. Progresso makes a line of heart-healthy, low sodium soups in delicious flavors like creamy tomato with basil and savory chicken and wild rice. Many other brands make low sodium options which still pack tons of flavor too. Or make your own soups by pureeing veggies and stock and blending into homemade soups and stews.
2. Breakfast Cereal
Breakfast cereal is sweet, so it's surprising that so many varieties are filled with more salt than anyone needs at the top of the morning. Salt enhances flavor, even if the resulting taste doesn't seem salty to our taste buds.
Many cereals have up to 300 mg of sodium per serving, as per Health. That's 12% of what you should consume in a day and most folks eat more cereal in one sitting than the recommended serving size suggests.
Again, check labels and make wise choices, despite how cute the cartoon characters on the box are. You're better off eating whole oats and adding some blueberries and honey. Puffed rice is another super-low sodium choice, plus it's low in calories. For more low-sodium choices, check out Cereal.com's list and start the day off in a healthful way.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage Cheese is a great choice when it comes to a protein punch and an excellent source of bone-strengthening calcium. But unless you choose a no-salt or low-salt tub, you'll be consuming 450 mg per ½ cup serving, as per Shape. That's close to 20% of the daily recommendation in a measly ½ cup.
To still reap the benefits of the goodness of cottage cheese, pick a tub that's low in sodium. Friendship Dairies offers a low sodium option – just 60 mg per serving. Add more goodness by adding fresh fruit, seeds, and wheat germ. So good for you and tastes great too!
Say "sayonara" to sodium and do what's good for your body. Your taste buds will adjust and you won't crave all that salt. You'll feel and look better and know you're treating yourself kindly. Just be sure to sprinkle some over your shoulder for good luck!