According to all the health authorities, Americans eat too much sodium (salt). The CDC estimates that the average person consumes about 3400mg of salt a day, more than double the recommended amount for most people. The recommended daily intake is 2300mg per day, but for people suffering from hypertension it is 1500mg.
A diet high in salt increases blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and strokes. It is also implicated in weight gain, because it increases fluid retention and it can also lead to an increase in fat consumption.
When thinking of salty foods people think of the obvious ones, like salted nuts, pretzels, crisps and cured meats like bacon and ham. What most people are unaware of is that salt is hidden in many processed foods, some of which may not even taste salty. For this reason it’s important to become a label reader.
Here are 10 foods that you might not have thought of as being high in salt:
1. Cottage Cheese
While everyone knows that cottage cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, few are aware that low-fat cottage cheeses are loaded with salt. As with most low-fat foods, food manufacturers add salt to make them taste better. A one cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese can contain as much as 1000mg of salt, almost 50% of your recommended daily salt intake. When choosing cottage cheese look for ‘no salt added’ varieties or simply choose full cream cottage cheese and eat smaller portions. A healthy alternative source of calcium and protein would be Greek yogurt (not the low-fat version!).