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Foods that Can Trick You with Hidden Salt

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are making an effort to eat healthy, the last thing you need is a curveball when it comes to food content, but that’s exactly what happens with many popular foods that wind up in our shopping carts.

Hidden salt can be a major player. When you are shopping, check the label for sodium content, and look for other names for salt such as disodium phosphate and monosodium glutamate (MSG), as you scan the labels.

The recommended daily allowance, RDA, for sodium is 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day for adults. The average American consumption of sodium is close to 3,400 milligrams per day. Researchers have shown too much sodium can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk for stroke.

Tracking your sodium, and maintaining regular checkups with your doctor are good starting points. The American Heart Association site,, is a good source to use as you learn more about salt.

One my favorites, canned chicken noodle soup, turns out to have an extremely high level of sodium. A half cup of condensed canned chicken noodle soup can contain as much as 890 milligrams of sodium.

When you are shopping, Women’s Health suggests you watch out for these popular choices.

Jarred spaghetti sauce – Half a cup contains 19 percent of the RDA for sodium.

Bagels – Many baked goods use baking soda or baking powder and show up with as much as 24 percent of RDA.

Canned vegetable juice – Tempting choice to get veggies minus calories, but you also get 18 percent RDA

Corn Flakes – One cup without milk fills in 12 percent of your RDA.

Slice of American cheese – Each slice adds 10 percent of your RDA

What to Do

How can you caombat this? Consider adding these strategies to your game plan.

Take the fresh food option - Buying more fresh foods instead of processed can reduce your sodium intake.  Some fruits have no sodium at all, such as apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and oranges. Choose low-salt vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, radishes, cucumbers and eggplant. Other good choices are yams, lettuce, avocado, peas and zucchini. Many of these can be grilled with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.

Break out the spices – Skip the salt and add flavor with pepper, rosemary, oregano, basil, and garlic.

Low-salt snacks – Move away from heavily salted fries and chips to better choices. One ounce of almonds, pecans, or pistachios has no sodium, and an ounce of macadamia nuts, walnuts or pine nuts has only one milligram of sodium. Air-popped popcorn has two milligrams of sodium in two-and-a-half cups.

As you track your sodium intake, stay in touch with your doctor to choose the best diet for you.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roseville, Minn.

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