You may be surprised by some seemingly healthy foods that are high in sodium — some aren’t even thought of as salty. For example, which has less salt? Potato chips or pancakes? You would think that potato chips have more salt than pancakes, right? You may be surprised to learn that Aunt Jemima’s Original Pancake Mix actually has more salt per serving than Wise Potato chips!
Consuming salty foods can increase your risk for serious health conditions, like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. The obvious fix is to cut some of the salt from your diet, but sodium is sneaky — it can lurk in many seemingly healthy foods. Here are some of the worst offenders.
Breads can be very high in sodium. A six-inch pita, has roughly 300 milligrams of salt. It can add up. Kelly O’Connor, a registered dietician, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore says that most adults are advised to keep their salt intake below 2,000 mg of sodium per day. Wildtree’s Whole Wheat Beer Bread has 170 mg of sodium (just 7% of the recommended daily allowance).
Low-calorie frozen meals help control portions, but most contain way too much salt. Some of them contain more than 500 mg per meal, which is one-third of your recommended daily intake if you are following a low-sodium diet. A leftover meal made from last night’s healthier Wildtree homemade dinner or crockpot meal can serve as a low-sodium, quick-lunch alternative. And you save money from takeout or the company cafeteria.
You may feel healthy when you choose a salad over a burger, but pay attention to the add-ons. One tablespoon of commercially prepared French dressing, for example, has 214 mg of sodium. “This is not a red-flag amount of sodium per serving, but think of how many people pour the salad dressing on their salads directly from the bottle, serving themselves several tablespoons and maybe 800 to 1,000 mg of sodium,” O’Connor says. Wildtree’s heart-healthy NO SODIUM grapeseed oils can make a flavorful oil & vinegar dressing, or use our 5 calorie Italian Seasoning blend (added to our grapeseed oil and some red wine or balsamic vinegar).
You probably don’t think of breakfast cereal as a salty food, but many of the “healthier” cereals on the market, like corn flakes and toasted-oat cereals, have almost 300 mg of sodium per cup. Again, the problem isn’t the sodium per serving, but the small amount that counts as a serving size. “A typical cereal bowl can hold one and a half to two cups of cereal, if not more (which doubles the sodium! ) If you use a larger bowl, it’s even higher! So watch that portion size! As an alternative, Wildtree’s Hearty Morning Granola Mix contains NO SODIUM!!
Some people choose beans to gain protein while they reduce their fat and cholesterol intakes, but the canned versions often have too much salt. One cup of plain baked beans has a whopping 1,008 mg of sodium, which is half of an adult’s recommended daily salt intake. “A roasted chicken breast [without the skin] would be an all-around better choice, with less than 100 mg of sodium and minimal fat and cholesterol content,” O’Connor says. If you’re a vegetarian, try cooking dried beans — one cup of boiled navy beans has only 2 mg of sodium. So many of Wildtree’s savory spice blends and rubs have NO calories and can add flavor to fresh/frozen/steamed vegetables, or that chicken breast!
On average, ONE CUP of jarred spaghetti sauce weighs in at over 1,000 mg of sodium. Better yet, curb your salt intake by making your own sauce in 15-20 minutes by combining a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (or garden fresh if you have them) with 1-2 tablespoons of Wildtree’s Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Blend, (created by Italians for authentic flavor!) which has just 95 mg (4%) of sodium. As a time saver, make extra, and freeze the finished sauce for future convenience.
While diet colas don’t have the sugar and calories of regular, they actually have more sodium — 28 mg for a 12-ounce can compared to 15 mg for regular. Not a lot, but again, the key is volume. Several cans or glasses of diet cola over the course of a day can add up to far too much salt.
Those cans of minestrone and tomato soup may make for a comforting meal, but they’re major salt-fests. One cup of canned chicken noodle soup contains 1,106 milligrams of sodium. Wildtree offers many easy soup and stew mixes, several that are crockpot compatible. For example, our cajun Jamblaya has just 35 mg in the mix. Our Hearty Turkey & Barley has just 55. Add some low sodium broth, and enjoy the true flavor of the food, rather than the salt! Our Chili Mix has NO SODIUM at all! There are many delicious flavors to choose from, and what’s better on a cold winter day than coming home to the aroma of homemade soup in your crockpot?
So, watch your labels! And why not consider replacing some of your favorite pre-packaged (boxed, canned, frozen) foods with Wildtree’s no/low sodium alternatives? Your heart, your blood pressure, and your family will thank you! Visit my website at http://www.Lauren.MyWildtree.com to check out our 160+/- tasty offerings!