Sodium is an essential mineral that we need to have in our body because maintaining good sodium intake means maintaining fluid balance, minimize muscles contraction and give the needed electrolytes that our bodies need. But more often than not, because of everyday hustle and bustle most people nowadays, even health conscious ones, are consuming more sodium than the body really needs by eating ready to eat and fast foods. Foods high in sodium can have negative effects to the body such as bloating, weight gain, high blood pressure, formation of cellulites and swollen joints.
The following are the top 10 foods that with high sodium content:
1. Table Salt
Table salt is a staple in the kitchen and one of the highest sources of sodium in the body because it contains 40% sodium. Table salt has undergone various processes and enriched with iodine. A single dash of table salt is composed of 150 mg of sodium and a single teaspoon has 2,300mg of sodium content. This is more than the recommended daily allowance for sodium intake.
2. Canned Meat, Fruits and Vegetables
Because canned fruits, vegetables and meat are readily available and affordable, this is usually the food of people who have a busy lifestyle because they don’t require any preparation. A single can contains approximately 1,300 mg of sodium. This may be because salt is used in preserving these fruits, meat and veggies.
There are a variety of condiments available in the market and they can really boost the flavor of any dish. They however have very high sodium content and consumption should be limited. Condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup and mustard contain high amount of sodium because salt is used in preserving them and increase their shelf life. Soy sauce contains 902 mg of sodium per tablespoon, 167 mg per tablespoon for ketchup and mustard contains 57 mg of sodium per teaspoon.
Dairy foods may be a good source of calcium but they are also foods that have high sodium content. There are different kinds of cheese which all contain significant amount of sodium. Cottage cheese, even those that are low-fat ones, contains more or less 1,000 mg of sodium per pack. It is advisable to include cheese in your diet but do so in moderation.
Cereals are the most convenient way to start a day. Just pour contents in a bowl, pour milk and you are ready to go. But cereals are high in sodium and just a serving of your favorite cereal can give you 180 mg to 300 mg of sodium and if you consume more, sodium content will add up as well.
6. Processed Meats
Bacon, hotdogs, sausages, salami, ham and other types of processed meat delis are known to be sources of fats but more than that, these foods are packed with sodium. Be careful because a regular deli ham has 300 mg of sodium content and a regular hotdog contains 700 g of sodium. This is the reason why you feel bloated after eating processed meats.
7. Fast Foods and Junk Foods
Fast foods such as pizza, burgers, soda, and fries can be inexpensive and convenient to buy but they have very high sodium content. These foods are linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and bloating. One large cheeseburger with large fries contain 1,500 mg of sodium that is before you sprinkle salt and dip it in ketchup.
8. Junk Foods
Needless to say, these foods are very unhealthy to consume because they have significant sodium content that can badly affect your health. Chips, pretzels, salted nuts and other junk foods when consumed on a regular basis can increase sodium levels in the bloodstream and make the kidneys do extra work which can lead to kidney and liver problems aside from bloating and weight gain. Salty potato chips have 480 mg of sodium per 100 grams and for pretzels you can get 1,266 mg per 100 grams.
9. Instant Noodles
Instant noodles can be satisfying to the stomach especially when you are not feeling well but it can also give you 1,820 mg of sodium content for every pack. Instant noodles can be cooked fast and have longer shelf life but these can harm your health if eaten regularly. These also do not have health benefits because it contains artificial flavorings and preservatives.
10. Sauces and Salad Dressings
Sauces and salad dressings can spice up and enhance the flavor of meat and vegetables but buying these ready to use sauces and salad dressings can lead to excessive sodium intake because these contains very high levels of sodium. A barbeque sauce pack contains 300mg of sodium where as a tablespoon of ranch dressing has 164 mg and 2 tablespoons of steak sauce has 560 mg of sodium.
Sodium is an important part of the daily diet for our muscles and nerves to function well but high levels can promote weight gain, water retention, kidney and liver malfunction as well as high blood pressure. Today, majority of kids and adults are taking more sodium than they need. It is advised that you limit consumption of these sodium rich foods and instead take organic and natural fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry.