I recently had my annual checkup and it was revealed by my family doctor that my blood pressure was a bit HIGH! Immediately after she booked me to see her on-staff dietitian as a means of cutting back on my sodium intake and to make some other dietary changes to live a bit healthier. If you’re following me on CaribbeanPot.com you’ll know that the past 3 years I’ve cut back on the amount of salt I use in my recipes and I try to encourage my audience to do the same. So I was a bit confused as to where my salt was coming from.
One would assume that since I don’t eat ‘junk food’ like potato chips, pop corn, etc and I cook about 80% of what I eat (I basically control what I eat), I’d be in better shape than most people. After-all we’re programmed to beleive that fast-food is bad for us and home-cooked is best. What I learned from speaking with the dietitian blew me away.
Foods That Add The Most Sodium to Your diet!
1. Bread! Did you know that a single slice of white bread can have around 120 mg of salt?
2. Cold Cuts and Cured Meats! While I’m not a ‘sandwich’ kinda guy and I’ve probably only had a “Subway” sandwich 3 times in my life, there’s the odd time I do reach for a stacked spicy Capicola sandwich.
3. Canned Soups (add those dried oriental noodle soup packages too) While I don’t touch the stuff, I’d recommend you take a closer look at the ingredient list on the side of the can and peep the sodium amount per serving.
4. Pizza (fresh and frozen). We’ve got the dough (like bread mentioned above), cold cuts. cheese, tomato sauce (yes there’s also salt in that) and while we know pizza is not healthy, we focus on the fat and calories and not necessarily the sodium levels.
5. Processed Cheese! Ever since I cut back on the amount of salt I was consuming, I immediately noticed how ‘salty’ cheese can be.
6. Breakfast Cereal. Another food where we tend to focus on the amount of ‘sugar’ in it and not so much the amount of sodium. You may be shocked.
7. Pasta Sauce. Next time reach for that can or jar of prepared spaghetti sauce, you may want to take a closer look at the label. Such sauces are notorious for being laden with salt. One cup of spaghetti sauce can contain as much as 1,000 mg.
8. Condiments and Salad Dressings. Did you know that one teaspoon of ketchup can have up to 150 mg of sodium? Please don’t get fooled with those “low sodium” options either. I compared some brands and what I did notice is that the ‘low’ versions, simply meant that it was slightly lower in sodium than their regular brand. and not really ‘low’ at all when compared to other brands.
9. Canned Meats and Fish! I’m a huge fan of canned corned beef, sardines and pink salmon… even when I opted for the low sodium versions, they were still very high in salt content. Had to give those up or at least indulge very rarely.
10. Fruit Flavored Drinks. You mean SUGAR right Chris? Nope.. I was as surprised as you are too!
Luckily, I don’t indulge in much of the high-sodium foods mentioned above, so my focus in dealing with this high blood pressure is my overall weight, being more active and trying my best to cut back on the amount of stress in my life. Getting older doesn’t help either (smile).
Before I go, I’d like to encourage you to try to get a regular check-up by your doctor.. including routine blood work.