The Ability To Locate and Avoid Hidden Sodium Is A Preventative Measure That Can Be Empowering!
Avoiding the salt shaker doesn’t mean you won’t be having sodium, for instance, there may be hidden sodium in your diet.
The recommended consumption of sodium should be less than 2,000mg, according to the World Health Organization. Consuming more than what is recommended, according to numerous observational cohort studies, is associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease.
Sodium is an essential mineral for our body that can be found naturally in some foods we may consume. It is also a chemical component of table salt.
Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat, and shellfish. It is often found in high amounts in processed foods such as bread, crackers, processed meats, snack foods, soy and fish sauces.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we have to limit the sodium we consume daily, especially for those who have high blood pressure.
Generally, people with high blood pressure should get between 1,500mg and 2,400mg of sodium per day.
Avoiding the salt shaker doesn’t really mean you will be avoiding high sodium intake.
The high content of sodium may be hidden in the meal we consumed. The reason for saying that is based on a shocking experience I had.
The experience I had occurred when I had to prepare a meal from the DASH( Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) plan in one of my diet and assessment classes as if I’m conducting hypertension(someone with high blood pressure) nutrition therapy for a patient.
This diet will help lower high blood pressure because it cuts back on the amount of sodium that we get from food and drink.
The meal I chose was steam fish with steamed vegetables. I added one teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride) which is 2,400mg. To my surprise, after conducting a nutrient check, I found out the meal had exceeded the recommended amount.
The other items of this recipe had hidden sodium content such as vegetables and fish. So I had to decrease the amount to 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
In general, foods with more than 300mg sodium per serving may not fit your meal plan. You can find out how much sodium is in the food by reading the food label. Remember the amount listed is for one serving, which may be more or less than you eat.
For example, in the past, when I didn’t know better, I ate a pack of processed biscuits in one go, the label would have 150mg per serving and the pack consisted of 4 servings.
I ended up eating 600mg instead of 150mg because I thought the whole pack was one serving. All I needed was one serving. There are helpful tips provided below to ensure the appropriate consumption of sodium.
Tips for cutting back on Sodium
- Remember, do not salt food at the table
Add very little when cooking.
Choose carefully when you eat away from home because restaurant foods can be very high in sodium.
- Let the person taking your order know that you are looking for low-salt or no-salt choices. Do not worry, many restaurants have special menus or will make food with less salt.
To check how much sodium is in your food, kindly visit for free at the USDA database website
- Remember to read the labels on the food items when shopping.
The information provided below can be used for an approximate comparison of food groups.
Approximate amount of sodium content in various food groups
Below are food group’s sodium content amount measured in mg per 100 g
Table salt, baking soda, baking powder 38,000mg/100g
Bouillon cubes, powdered broths, soups, gravies 20,000mg/100g
Soy sauce 7,000mg/100g
Sauces and spreads 1,200mg/100g
Snack foods (e.g. pretzels, cheese puffs, popcorn) 1,500mg/100g
Cheese, hard 800mg/100g
Cheese, soft 400mg/100g
Processed vegetables 600mg/100g
Vegetables, fresh or frozen 10mg/100g
Butter/margarine 500 mg/100g
Processed fish 400 mg/100g
Fish, raw or frozen 100 mg/100g
Cereals and cereal products (e.g. bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes, pastries) 250mg/100g
Milk and cream 50 mg/100g
Fruits, fresh or frozen 5mg/100g
Comparison of the sodium content of an example of foods in unprocessed (i.e. “natural”) and processed states
Food item Description Sodium content (mg per 100 g)
Natural >Unprocessed Beef Topside, roast, lean and fat 48 mg/100g
Processed >Processed Corned beef, canned 950 mg/100g
Natural >Unprocessed Bran Bran, wheat 28 mg/100g
Processed >Bran flakes 1,000mg/100g
Natural> Cheese Hard cheese, average 620 mg/100g
Processed> cheese 1,320mg/100g
Natural >Chick-peas Dried, boiled in unsalted water 5 mg/100g
Processed >Canned, re-heated, drained 220mg/100g
Natural Crab Boiled 370 mg/100g ,
Process > Canned crab 550 mg/100g
Natural >Unprocessed Cod, in batter, fried in blended oil 100 mg/100g
Processed > Fish fingers, fried in blended oil 350mg/100g
Unprocessed >New potatoes Raw, boiled in unsalted water 9 mg/100g
Processed >Canned, re-heated, drained 250mg/100g
Natural >Peanuts Plain 2 mg/100g
Processed >Dry roasted peanuts 790mg/100g
Processed >Roasted and salted peanuts 400mg/100g
Natural >Peas Raw, boiled in unsalted water Trace Canned, re-heated, drained 250mg/100g
Natural >Potato chips Homemade, fried in blended oil 12 mg/100g
Processed >(French fries) Oven chips, frozen, baked 53 mg/100g
Unprocessed > Salmon Raw, steamed 110 mg/100g
Processed >Canned salmon 570 mg/100g
Smoked Salmon 1,880mg/100g
Unprocessed >Sweet corn On-the-cob, whole, boiled in unsalted water 1mg/100g
Processed >Kernels, canned, re-heated, drained 270mg/100g
Natural >Tuna Raw 47mg/100g
Processed >Tuna Canned in oil, drained 290mg/100g
Tuna Canned in brine drained 320 mg/100g
It’s nutrition empowering when you become aware of the other areas besides the salt shaker where sodium may be found in order to stay healthy. Practicing nutrition may prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary disease.
Empowering is becoming strong and confident after obtaining some knowledge about which type of food to avoid that contains high percentage of sodium.
As you obtain this new knowledge and you began to drop of the old habits of eating processed foods, you may become strengthen mentally while you adapt to a new behavior which will assist you in preventing the diet-related diseases such as hypertension.
It was once said by a well-known medical doctor, the late Dr. Vendryes – an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
If you can prevent yourself from consuming high content of sodium or no sodium at all, it would be worthwhile comparing to the many treatments you may have to receive for the various phases of illnesses that may occur upon you. That is very empowering as you take control of your health.
This blog was written as a guide with the intent to assist you in making the right choice about the amount of sodium you may consume in your meal. Thanks for reading!