Shocking Places Sodium Hides

Read labels carefully to look for sodium.

Most Americans are ingesting too much sodium. The reason for this mainly lies in the abundance of processed foods that we eat.

Too Much Sodium Is Often Related to High Blood Pressure

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and that can result in heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It does this by triggering the brain and adrenal glands to produce blood pressure raising hormones.

Many people already avoid adding too much extra salt to the food on their plates, and they know to avoid obviously salty foods and treats as much as possible. But there are some surprising places that sodium hides where it might sneak up on you, adding hundreds of milligrams of sodium to your diet every day.

Surprising Sources of Sodium

Take a look at these sneaky, hidden sodium sources and, as much as possible, avoid them or use alternatives made yourself with whole foods.

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  • Canned foods
  • Deli meat
  • Marinades, simmer sauces, and salad dressing
  • Condiments like mustard and ketchup
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Bread products, especially bagels
  • Cheese
  • Some medications
  • Nuts with salt added
  • Frozen dinners
  • Some cereal
  • Canned or jarred tomato sauce

Sodium Hides on Food Labels

Not only does sodium hide in surprising foods, but it can also disguise itself on food labels, making it harder to identify. The word "salt" is not always used, but it's the sodium part of salt that has negative health effects. Here are some of the words you might see on labels that indicate there's a sodium source in the food:

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  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Sodium chloride
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Baking powder
  • Sodium nitrate
  • Sodium citrate

Learn how to look for these tricky words, usually containing "sodium" or "soda." Look for labels that say "low sodium," "reduced sodium," or "sodium free."

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Do not take any supplements without first consulting with your physician if you are on any prescription or over-the-counter medications.