Watch Out for These 19 Foods with Hidden High Sodium Levels

We’ve all heard about the dangers of consuming too much sodium, but it can be hard to know exactly which foods are the biggest culprits. If you’re trying to lower your intake of salty snacks but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. This list covers 19 foods with hidden high sodium levels.

Canned Vegetables

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You may expect that vegetables make a healthy snack in most forms. However, while canned vegetables can provide plenty of nutrients, they’re often preserved with a large dose of added sodium to extend their shelf life and enhance flavor. If you’re concerned about your sodium intake, always check the label before purchasing.

Instant Noodles

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Instant noodles are infamous for being a salty, unhealthy snack popular among students who are tight on time or money. But how much sodium do they contain, exactly? According to Healthline, a single packet can contain a whopping 1,760 mg, which is 88% of your recommended daily intake.

Flavored Rice

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Pre-packaged flavored rice is often marketed as being a healthy option, but these little packets can contain a surprising amount of sodium. If you’re looking to reduce your intake, make sure to check the label before buying, or consider cooking your own rice.

Canned Soup

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Canned soups, especially those that contain several kinds of vegetables, can be highly nutritious and help you pack in the vitamins and minerals. However, you may be surprised to learn that a single serving of canned soup sometimes provides over half of your recommended intake.

Cottage Cheese

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While most people consider cottage cheese to be one of the healthier varieties, it can still be high in sodium. Thankfully, there are no-salt-added options that can help keep your sodium intake low. Even low-fat cheeses can be high in sodium, so it’s still important to check the label if you’re concerned about your health.

Vegetable Juices

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Vegetable juice sounds like it should be pretty healthy, right? Well, while these juices typically contain a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, they can also be packed with salt to enhance their flavor or extend their shelf-life. To combat this issue, you can make your own juice at home or check the nutrition label before purchasing.

Barbecue Sauce

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Barbecue sauce is a hugely popular condiment all over the world. But if you’re adding it to your meals on a daily basis, you may want to proceed with caution. According to Verywell Fit, two tablespoons of barbecue sauce typically contain 300 mg of sodium.

Seasoning Mixes

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Seasoning mixes are convenient and full of flavor, but unfortunately, they often get some of that flavor from high quantities of salt. One packet can contain as much as 800 mg of salt, which can contribute significantly to your daily sodium intake. It’s often better to use a homemade spice blend so you can control how much salt goes into your meals.

Bottled Salad Dressings

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Salads are known for being a very healthy meal option. However, that can change when you go a little too hard on the salad dressing. While some dressings are healthy, others can contain very high amounts of sodium, detracting from the healthiness of your meal.

Pancake and Waffle Mixes

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Pancakes and waffles are popular all around the globe, especially in the U.S. However, pre-mixed options often hide high amounts of sodium that can be damaging to your health. For a healthier alternative, make your own pancakes and waffles from scratch so you have full control over the sodium levels.

Smoked, Dried, and Salted Fish

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Forms of cured fish may be tasty, but they typically contain a lot of salt for preservation and flavor purposes. If you love fish but are concerned about your sodium intake, you may want to consider opting for fresh fish products instead.

Soy Sauce

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Soy sauce is a delicious ingredient used in many Asian dishes. However, if you’re a fan of stir-fries, sushi, and similar foods, you should watch out for this sneaky little sauce. Just one tablespoon can contain as much as 1,000 mg of sodium, which can really add up over time.

Teriyaki Sauce

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Teriyaki sauce is similar to soy sauce in several ways, including its high sodium content. One tablespoon can contain over 600 mg of sodium, so it’s important to consume this delicious ingredient in moderation. You can also make your own teriyaki sauce from scratch to control the salt levels.

Frozen Dinners

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Frozen dinners may be delicious and convenient, but they’re often packed with sodium to improve their taste and extend their shelf-life. While you don’t have to cut them out of your diet completely, it’s a good idea to look for products with “heart-healthy” or “low-sodium” on the packaging.

Store-Bought Muffins

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Store-bought muffins are tasty, indulgent, and convenient. But unfortunately, all these great qualities come at a price. Muffins are usually high in sugar, fat, and can also contain a large amount of salt. If you want a healthier alternative, you may want to consider making your own muffins from scratch or selecting whole grain options.

Sports Drinks

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While sports drinks are often sold as a healthy way to replenish your electrolytes, they can contain unhealthy amounts of sodium. They can be good for athletes who exercise for long periods of time, but most people would be better off hydrating themselves with plain old water or coconut water.

Cheese Spreads and Cream Cheese

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Many types of cheese can include surprisingly high amounts of salt, including spreads and cream cheeses. If you’re a big cheese fanatic but want to watch your sodium intake, you can opt for types that are naturally lower in sodium, such as mozzarella or Swiss.

Salad Toppings

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Salads themselves are undoubtedly healthy and nutritious. However, people often add toppings that can take away from this nutritional value. For example, croutons, prepared nuts, and bacon bits can all be high in sodium. If you want to cut down on salt, you can prepare your own salad toppings or opt for healthier store-bought alternatives.

Instant Oatmeal

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Oatmeal can be very healthy for your gut health and overall wellbeing. But unfortunately, flavored varieties of instant oatmeal can be surprisingly high in sodium, with some packets containing up to 250 mg. It’s quite easy to make your own oatmeal at home, so you may want to consider doing so to cut down on your salt intake.

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