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Lower Your Salt Intake

Learn how to spot high-sodium foods and make healthier choices.

Hidden sodium

But even if we reduce our salt intake at the table, sneaky sodium sources can easily creep into our diet. Experts explain that one main reason why most people have problems eliminating high-sodium foods is because they are unable to identify the culprits -- many sodium-rich foods may not taste salty at all.

"There's salt in bread, processed meat, cheese, canned vegetables -- these are all hidden sources of salt," says Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., professor emeritus of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Baked goods such as bread, muffins and cookies are usually high in sodium since baking soda (which has 1,260mg per teaspoon) is often added during the baking process. Plus, because salt is commonly used as a preservative, processed meat and canned vegetables are another major source of hidden sodium.

One way to spot the hidden sodium is to read the labels when shopping. Look for lower sodium in cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, or any foods with low-salt options, says Alicia Moag-Stahlberg, a research nutritionist at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. And choose fresh vegetables and meat whenever possible.

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