By AHA Sodium Reduction Initiative Team | 30 Mar 2017
This week, the CDC released their most recent information on the top 25 foods add the most sodium to the American diet.
It reminds us that even food that even foods that don’t look salty can have more sodium than you think! With about three-quarters of the sodium that Americans eat coming from prepackaged, prepared, and restaurant foods, it’s important to keep your eye out for sneaky sodium.
Sneaky Sodium Can Come from these Common Foods
Here are the top 25 foods that contribute the most sodium to American’s diets. For American adults (age 20 years and older), we’ve put the top 6 into a graphic so that you can get a closer look at the Salty 6. These are the foods that Americans eat that add the most sodium to the American diet. And for those aged 2 years and up, we have the salty six for kids.
- Yeast breads
- All single code sandwiches
- Cold cuts and cured meats
- Burritos and tacos
- All savory snacks
- Chicken, whole pieces
- Eggs and omelets
- Pasta mixed dishes (except for macaroni and cheese)
- Meat mixed dishes
- Bacon, frankfurters, and sausages (like hot dogs)
- Other Mexican mixed dishes
- Tomato-based condiments (think: ketchup)
- Salad dressings and vegetable oils
- Poultry mixed dishes
- All plain milk
- All ready-to-eat cereal
- Mashed potatoes and white potato mixtures
- French fries and other fried white potatoes
- Cakes and pies
- Other vegetables and combinations
While this list is useful to know it doesn’t mean you must avoid all of these foods. Instead, follow these five tips to help you select the foods with the least amount of sodium. Remember: starting small can make a big difference!
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy and eat clean.
- Fill your foods with flavor and color. Replace some meats, cheeses, and condiments with colorful fruits and vegetables (or, you can make your own condiments).
- Read nutrition labels. Sodium levels can vary a lot, even among similar types of foods. Compare similar foods and choose the items with the lowest amount of sodium.
- Pay attention to sodium when you go out to eat. You can watch for these 10 words on restaurant menus when you order.
- Eat smaller portions. When you cut the amount of food you eat, you usually cut sodium too.