Foods High In Sodium And What You Should Eat Instead

We all know we shouldn’t eat too much salt. Overdoing it can lead to a slew of problems like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other heart-related diseases. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend less than 2300 mg of sodium a day. If you’re over 51, African American, have high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes you should limit it to under 1500 mg. But the problem is that the estimated average intake of sodium for Americans ages two years and older is approximately 3400 mg per day, more than twice the recommended amount! This is because salt is hidden everywhere, even in foods you might not suspect. In today’s video we will tell you what foods contain the highest amounts of Sodium and what low sodium foods you can replace them with. From Processed foods, chips, canned vegetables, cereals, Dill pickles and many more, watch till the end to find out all of them.

Processed Lunch Meat:

Let’s just start with one of the worst high sodium foods, shall we? Not only are lunch meats and other processed meats high in sodium, but they’re also high in preservatives, one being salt. They’re one of the top foods to avoid for stroke, high blood pressure and weight gain. Many of the additives have even been linked to digestive disorders and headaches, so buy your meat fresh whenever you can for the healthiest choice.

Processed Cheese:

Cheese is not only high in animal saturated fat, which can cause a stroke risk on its own. But processed cheese is also high in sodium, as even many natural cheeses are. Some of the cheese varieties that are lowest in fat are unfortunately the highest in sodium, such as Parmesan. If you love that cheesy taste but don’t want the unhealthy benefits of cheese, try sprinkling nutritional yeast on your foods, or making a cheese sauce with nutritional yeast and almond milk. It tastes exactly like cheese, but is rich in B vitamins and potassium that can actually help fight stroke risk.


Chips are another processed food that contribute to stroke risks and one of the worst high sodium foods to eat if you’re at risk already. Chips are hard to stop eating, yet the serving size is so small to begin with, it’s easy to eat 3-4 servings and already be over the daily allowance of sodium. Instead of chips, try almonds and carrots. They are the perfect pairing for crunchy and sweet. Try to buy unsalted almonds though, since salted almonds are also very high in sodium. Enjoying this list so far? Well, keep watching because there’s a lot of more good stuff coming up, but before moving on, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more amazing videos like this and hit the bell icon so that you don’t miss any updates!


If you prefer to have a light lunch, you may have turned to soup as a healthy and filling option. But, unfortunately, soup is often packed full of sodium. One bowl can have over 950mg of salt hidden within. To cut down on this salty culprit, read the labels and aim for lower sodium options. Some brands offer Low Sodium versions of their soups as well. This will take you down from 950mg to only 45mg per serving.


Serving up a plate of cold cuts or choosing a sandwich over a cheeseburger can feel like you’re making a healthy choice at mealtime. But ingredients such as ham can come with a huge helping of unwanted sodium. One small serving of ham can contain nearly 800mg of salt. That’s before you even consider other ingredients you may add, such as sauces or cheese. A healthier and far less salty alternative is to switch out that ham for something like shaved, roast chicken. This option cuts your sodium in half and generally only has 360mg.

Salad Dressing:

If you are asked to think of diet foods, the first thing to come to mind is probably a salad. Low in calories and full of nutrients, it’s hard to think of any reason this might not be so great for you. While plain salad is perfect, the moment you add a store-bought dressing, you up the sodium content greatly. A small, two-tablespoon serving can easily pack well over 200mg of sodium. If you aren’t measuring your salad dressing, that can add up quickly. Before you buy a dressing, read labels carefully! And, if you want to really be sure you are cutting down your salt intake, you could always make your own tasty dressing at home.

Bread And Croissants:

Flaky, buttery pastries such as croissants are known as fat bombs, but they also have a lot of sodium, about 400 milligram for just one. Another sodium-laden item is bagels and some larger ones contain nearly 700 milligram. Even whole wheat bread has a fair amount of sodium at about 150 milligram a slice. It actually has nearly the same amount of sodium as a serving of potato chips, but as the salt is on the surface of the chip, it’s easier to taste. With bread, it’s baked in, so that is more difficult to spot. You can avoid overeating bread and pastries. As a guide, have no more than two slices of wholemeal bread each time.

Canned Vegetables:

There are lots of good things about canned vegetables. They’re rich in vitamins and nutrients, they’re easy to prepare and they last practically forever. But many canned goods are high in sodium, including soups and chili. In fact, the sodium in a half-cup serving of canned vegetables can be surprising. Sliced carrots contain 370 mg, Chopped kale greens about 330 mg, Zucchini – 490 mg Cream-style corn – 365 mg and Diced tomatoes, about 520 mg of sodium. Try rinsing your canned veggies before eating. This won’t get rid of all the sodium, but it will reduce it. And look for labels that boast, No salt added. Best yet, eat fresh vegetables instead.

Frozen Diet Foods:

Frozen dinners can be very simple and easy to prepare. While they once consisted primarily of country-fried steak and potatoes, now there’s a wide variety to choose from, including frozen meals for those looking to cut calories. While these quickie diet meals are low in carbs and fat, they’re also commonly loaded with sodium and may still leave you craving a midnight snack. When choosing a frozen diet meal, be a label reader. Check the serving size and number of servings, because your dinner may be meant for two. Look for a dinner with no more than 500 to 800 mg of sodium, and remember to counter-balance your sodium intake for the rest of the day with healthier fruits and veggies.

Fast Foods:

You probably know that drive-thru lunches are not your friends when it comes to calories and fat content. You can add sodium to that list as well. Restaurants use a lot of it because it’s an easy way to add flavor. If you’re set on the drive-thru, check your meal online before you go. Most restaurants list nutrition info, so you can see which options are least offensive in the sodium department. No matter what, lay off the mayo, which adds 90 mg of sodium in just a tablespoon.

Breakfast Cereal:

Think you’re picking a healthy variety? The cereal aisle holds loads of surprises when it comes to sodium. Options that include nutritious ingredients like whole grains may also contain high amounts of salt. Wheat Chex, for one, has more than 500 milligram per cup. There are low-sodium choices, like shredded wheat, so always look at labels. Or opt for oatmeal—the traditional, steel-cut variety, not the instant, flavored packs. You can add fresh fruit as a topping to make it healthier.

Dill Pickles:

Dill pickles can be very high in sodium. A small spear may have less than 300 milligrams, but a large dill pickle which is about four inches long has more than 1,000 milligrams. Even one little slice of dill pickle has almost 60 milligrams. If you like pickles, you can try sweet pickles which fare a little better. A large Gherkin which is about three inches long has just about 160 milligrams of sodium.

Smoked Fish And Seafood:

Before salmon is smoked to derive that delightful oaky taste, it needs to be cured. The curing process involves slathering the fish with salt, a major sodium contributor, and other ingredients. Just one slice of smoked salmon contains 317 milligram. By comparison, a slice of salmon sashimi has about 5 milligram. If you must have smoked fish, limit yourself to three slices to keep the sodium intake low.

Imitation Meats:

Pickles and imitation meats have something in common. Despite being healthy in some ways, they are still processed foods. Being processed means they need certain additives to stay good longer. Salt is almost always one of them. As a result, they can contribute to a massive salt intake over time. To put things in perspective, a veggie sausage can easily have 600 milligram per link. This is a substantial part of your daily sodium intake for one piece of food. As a result, you may want to lower your substitute meat intake to one meal a week rather than keeping it a staple. The good news is that substitutes for meat can be low in sodium. A great example is tempeh. Not only is tempeh low in sodium, it also has a similar nutritional profile to meat-based proteins. This means you can treat it like meat with far fewer health worries.

Beef Jerky:

Beef jerky may be a gas station staple, but with high-protein diets becoming more popular, you may be snacking on it more frequently. However, it’s worth being mindful of the fact that jerky is dried and cured with high levels of sodium and preservatives. It contains about 1278-1870 milligram of sodium per serving. This can add up if you have multiple portions of it. You can try grass-fed or organic beef jerky, which is usually lower in sodium. Plus, it’s also higher in nutrients. Are any of the foods on the list a part of your regular diet? Would you give up any of them? Let us know in the comments section below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *