Blocking Sodium

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

The tricky part about “blocking” sodium is that as much as 90% of the salt you consume everyday is “hidden” (salt that you don’t shake on at the stovetop or dinner table). About 12% of the sodium in the average American diet occurs naturally in foods and 10% is added at the stove or table top. Below is a sampling of where some of the remaining sodium in our diet is “hidden.”

Product Sodium What you can do
Canned soup May contain 600-1,000mg for a 1 cup serving Buy only low sodium soups (try the organic section of the store) or make your own low sodium version.
Frozen entrees Some frozen meals have as much as or more than 1,500mg Healthy Choice never tops 600mg; some Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones are in the same ballpark.
Lunch Meat In 1 to 2 slices you could consume 600-1,000mg Again, Healthy Choice is lower (not low but lower) at 480mg. Also Boar’s Head has a few low sodium varieties.
Salad dressing 2 Tbs. of dressing can provided up to 500mg Olive oil/vinegar and sweet dressings are generally lower. Look for those with 150mg or less, or make your own.
Tomatoes Spaghetti sauce can have up to 900mg/cup, canned tomatoes range from 400 to 800mg Check the labels here. Brands vary significantly. Better yet, make your own tomato sauces and choose low sodium canned tomatoes.
Chicken Broth Most brands have about 900mg per cup Low sodium is good, but some organic varieties actually have less than the low sodium varieties. Read labels.
Chicken Many processors add salt and water to keep their raw poultry moist Read labels here to find the one with the least amount, or purchase fresh from your supermarket butcher.

A note about Sea Salt

Many people think sea salt is better for you, but in terms of sodium content gram for gram, sea salt is much the same as table salt. However, the larger crystals and unique flavor may result in you using less salt over all, which is definitely a bonus.


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