Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hidden Sources of Dietary Sodium

If you consume more than three of these products daily then chances are, you are consuming more sodium than needed. Sodium is one of the minerals that is easily consumed in excess, due to its saturated presence in processed foods. Sodium has an essential role within the manufacturing process and thus it is often challenging for manufactures to avoid using sodium sources during the preparation and packaging of food products. This is why, reading food labels and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to managing your sodium intake.
NOTE: Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, and the majority are low in sodium; potassium when consumed, it serves as a contra-indicator to sodium's effect within the body.
Recommendation: The average 2 000- 2 500 calorie diet requires 1 5000 - 2 400 mg of sodium per day.
Bottom line on hidden food sources of sodium is to check your labels and choose products with less than 140 mg per serving

Seafood is good for you — prepared in a healthy way, seafood can help lower cholesterol, which in turn helps lower blood pressure. But you need to choose your seafood wisely, as options like shellfish and canned tuna fish are high in sodium. 3 oz of canned tuna has 300 mg of sodium, and 3 oz of fresh shrimp has 190 mg. Dietary Suggestion:
Select canned fish in water or oil, skip those in brine. Better, seafood choices include fresh tuna, salmon, halibut, and haddock.


Anything in a can could be a sodium bomb. Check all those canned food labels and choose products with less sodium per serving. Some canned and instant soups may contain up to 1,300 mg of sodium.
Dietary Suggestion:
Ditch the canned version of the vegetables and  try to get your vegetables fresh from your produce section in the supermarket or market vendor. A half-cup of freshly cooked carrots has only 52 mg of sodium and a cup of green or white beans has only 4 mg.
As for the soup,  do not add all of the seasoning packet found in the ramen/instant noodles. On the other hand, you can make your own soup using low-sodium broth and fresh ingredients.

Even a healthy-sounding option like vegetable juice can be high in sodium. That is why reading the food label a.k.a the Nutrition Facts label is a step that should not be missed whilst  food shopping. Sodium content is listed per serving size; to be considered a low-sodium serving, it should read 140 mg less. Even a can of tomato juice can be a mini-sodium bomb at 660 mg.
Dietary Suggestion: 
Squeeze your own fresh vegetable juice — a small tomato has only 11 mg of sodium.

Cereals and other processed foods account for about 75% of  most individuals sodium intake. One cup of cornflakes can have 300 mg of sodium; depending on the brand. Other processed breakfast foods are even worse.  When it comes to breads, rolls, and other grains, once again, you need to read the labels to curb your sodium intake. Don't assume that all grains are the same.
Here are some facts, biscuit and pancake mixes can have up to 800 mg  of sodium per serving. Whilst, the sodium in a cup of prepared baking mix could be as high as 1,500 mg. One flour tortilla wrap can contain 550 mg of sodium
Dietary Suggestion:
Make pancakes, waffles and biscuits from scratch using low-sodium baking powder and baking soda.
Choose more whole grained versions of the breakfast cereals, or simply replace them with the unprocessed versions- e.g Steel cut oats, Museli, barley amongst others. Choose plain corn tortillas instead of white flour tortillas, these often contain no more than 30 mg of sodium.

Check out the original article and  more on the following Flavour Packets' and Condiments, Deli Meats, Frozen Meals, Spaghetti Sauces and Dairy Products

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