Health + Wellness

High Sodium Foods You Should Have Less Of

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Time to skip the salt and cut down on this list of food items that are actually saltier than you think.

Although sodium is an essential mineral required by the body to function, like any other mineral, it has to be taken in moderation. As a rule of thumb, healthy adults should never consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily and not more than 1,500 milligrams if you have high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease.

The Effects Of Consuming Too Much Sodium

An excess of sodium consumed will cause your bodily functions to turn awry. Urine production increases to expel sodium, sodium is directed from blood into surrounding tissues and diluted with fluid to cause bloating and water retention, and there’s also an excess in the production of the aldosterone hormone to maintain blood sodium levels at a normal rate – a regular spike of aldosterone can cause heart and kidney problems.

Cut Down

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, people aged 50 and above are most at risk of developing health problems like high blood pressure from salt consumption. So to avoid elevating your blood pressure further, here are some foods that are high in sodium content you should cut down on:



One of the biggest high-sodium culprits has got to be sauces and salad dressings given their savoury taste. You’ll be surprised that one tablespoon of soy sauce contains 1,228 milligrams of sodium – which is already about 51 percent of your daily sodium intake, while just two tablespoons of reduced-fat salad dressing contains about 300 milligrams of sodium (10 to 15 percent of your daily sodium intake). Reduce your consumption of these savoury sauces or try making your own healthier salad dressings instead.



Soups, especially the canned and powdered soup mixes, might be easy and quick to make but are loaded with lots of sodium. Though low in calories, a serving of canned soup can contain about 700 milligrams of sodium (29 percent of your daily intake). Opt for low-sodium canned soups if possible, or try to make your own soups from scratch and control the amount of salt added.



While cereals are a great option to start off your mornings, they can pack quite a bit of sodium too. Many cereals contain up to 300 milligrams of sodium per serving (12 percent of your daily intake). Avoid having too much cereal in a day, or alternate with a hearty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast instead.

Canned Vegetables

You may think you’re eating healthily just because you’re having your fill of vegetables, but if they came right out of a can, you might want to cut down on it. Canned vegetables are packed with preservatives or seasonings that ramp up its sodium content. One serving of canned sweet red peppers for instance can hold up to a shocking 1,369 milligrams of sodium (57 percent of your daily intake). Opt for canned ones labelled ‘no salt added’/’low sodium’, or purchase frozen vegetables instead.

Pre-packaged Meat


The next time you head to the supermarket, put down that packet of smoked salmon or beef salami. Just one serving of smoked salmon contains 672 milligrams of sodium (28 percent of your daily intake), while a mere serving of beef salami racks up a whopping 1,140 milligrams of sodium (48 percent of your daily intake). While pre-packaged meat certainly make a tasty treat in your meals, avoid having them too often if you want to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

In summary, always look out for food labels and read the nutritional facts before you purchase any of your favourite food items. Take control of how much salt you’re consuming each day by cutting down on these high sodium foods and remember to drink more water to flush some of the sodium from your body.




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