Over consumption of salt has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. These findings have led to a huge number of us reducing our salt intake in order to protect our health. Gone are the days where salt is liberally sprayed on top of every meal and our awareness of the dangers of junk food are much more acute.
However, even cutting out the obvious salty culprits may not be enough. Many of the foods we eat are packed full of salt even though you wouldn’t have a clue! Here are 12 of the most surprising foods with too much salt.
Cereal, the staple food for breakfast – the most important meal of the day. Cereal should be a healthy way to boost your body for the day ahead but many brands of cereal a packed full of salt. Some have as much as 300 mg per serving which accounts for as much as 12% of your recommended daily intake.
With nearly 450 mg of salt per every half a cup, cottage cheese contains far too much salt. The figure accounts for nearly 20% of your recommended intake in a comparatively small serving!
Without any toppings, a regular bagel contains around 450 mg of salt. However, it isn’t often that you eat one free from cream cheese or without an additional topping on the bagel. The addition of a light coating of cream cheese takes the salt per bagel to nearly 600 mg!
Organic and freshly made veggie burgers are exempt from this list, however, the frozen patties that are easily available in the grocery store have too much salt. Without any bun (which tend to be high in salt) or sauces (more on these in a moment) there could be as much as 500 mg per burger!
A lot of people who are looking to cut down on their salt intake try and cut out the obvious offenders by replacing them with tasteless alternatives and then proceed to smother them in a condiment. This is simply undoing the effort of cutting out the ‘obviously’ salty food in the first instance. Ketchup has 167 mg per tablespoon, which for certain people is nowhere near their normal serving!
Hot chocolate has long been seen as a dieter’s friend because of their low calories but delicious taste. However, don’t be fooled! Each cup can have as much as 100 mg of salt, which does make you wonder why it’s needed!?
Store bought pancakes can contain as much as 500 mg of salt per pancake – and when was the last time anyone had just one pancake! Making your own pancakes at home is a much healthier option to avoid unnecessary salt consumption.
Bread, deli meats, and cheese are all high in salt content and therefore an innocuous enough turkey sandwich clocks in at over 1000 mg of salt. Avoid regular bread at all costs and try and stick to pita bread if you need to fight off a sandwich craving.
When you’re in the grocery store looking at ‘fresh’ chicken, what you are often looking at is chicken that has been injection with a salt-rich flavoring to enhance the taste. Your best bet is to steer clear of the big grocery stores and buy local organic chicken.
Canned vegetables appear on the surface to be a great idea. You can just warm them up quickly and they don’t spoil. The price you pay for that is an extremely high salt ratio. Tinned carrots can have nearly 400 mg of salt, a figure which pales in comparison with diced tomato which hits the salt scales at nearly 550 mg. Best to just buy fresh!
Another food on this list that shows that easier definitely doesn’t equal better! A cup of prepared pasta sauce has over 1000 mg of salt. Considering that most pasta sauces are largely vegetarian based this number is astronomically high. There are no added salt versions that are better for you, but a homemade version will always be best.
Vegetable cocktails are a fantastic idea, in theory, however, pre-made vegetable cocktails tend to be stuffed with salt. On average one cup can contain 450 mg of salt, not as healthy as first advertised!
Monitoring your salt intake is an essential part of any health plan. By checking the labels of everything you eat, you will increase the awareness you have of exactly what is going into your body. In order to reduce your salt intake to healthy levels this awareness, alongside replacing processed foods with a homemade, organic alternative will quantifiably lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Taking a little more time to research and prepare food will keep you healthier for longer.