The 10 Most Common Sources of Sodium

by in Food News, March 26, 2012
deli meat
There's lots of sodium to be found at the deli counter.

Nine out of 10 American adults eat too much sodium. Chances are you’re probably in that 90%. The CDC recently released a report pinpointing the top sodium culprits so you can keep a mindful eye on them.

The Issue
A February 2012 report released by the CDC, found 10 foods that are responsible for more than 40% of the sodium in our diets. Too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, which may put you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.  The report estimates the average adult eats about 3,300 milligrams of sodium each day—that’s almost 1½ times the recommended daily amount. The report found that 65% of sodium comes from food sold at the market while 25% comes from meals eaten in restaurants.

Find out more about the risks of high blood pressure.

The Biggest Culprits

These 10 foods account for 44% of the daily sodium consumed.

  • Breads and rolls
  • Luncheon meats like deli ham or turkey
  • Pizza
  • Poultry
  • Soups
  • Cheeseburgers and other sandwiches
  • Cheese
  • Pasta dishes
  • Meat dishes like meatloaf
  • Snack foods like potato chips and pretzels

The report notes that although some of the foods may not have much sodium in one portion, they’re eaten several times throughout the day making an impact on your total daily intake.

What You Can Do
There are many ways to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. One is to decrease portions of high-sodium foods like cheese and chips. A second is to choose lower sodium varieties of foods like deli meats and canned soups.

Check out 10 more ways to reduce sodium.

TELL US: How will you cut the sodium from your diet?

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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (93)

  1. [...] the original: The 10 Most Common Sources of Sodium This entry was posted in Food Network and tagged adult, blood, cdc, chips, daily, day, deli, [...]

  2. Toby,
    Thank you for this list! I am actually surprised to see poultry on the list. Does it have to do with the way it is prepared, or is there inherently a large amount of sodium in a skinless, boneless breast of chicken?
    Thanks!!!

    • tobyamidor says:

      Hi Gene,
      I'm glad you enjoyed the article! According to the report released by the CDC, both fresh and processed poultry contain sodium. Much of the store-bought poultry is injected with a sodium-solution— it's a hidden source of sodium that many folks are not aware of.
      -Toby

    • Tania says:

      watch the label- fresh boneless chicken/turkey only has about 65 mg of sodium a serving. The injected frozen chicken breasts have 300+mg of sodium. Plus it has preservatives, which are not cool imo. We get fresh chicken breast, and fresh lean ground turkey

  3. Linda says:

    I'm kind of surprised to see bread and rolls on the list. I never thought of bread being high in sodium. I've been battling high blood pressure for a while now.I take prescription medications, lost 42 lbs, and keep an eye on the salt. I always buy low sodium when ever possible, but many food products do not offer that choice and I think that's a shame.

    • TobyAmidor says:

      Hi Linda,
      For bread, the report discusses how one slice of bread may not have much sodium, but when eaten several times throughout the day it makes an impact on your daily total sodium intake.
      Thanks for your comment!
      -Toby

  4. Chloe says:

    Over 75% of our daily salt intake comes from packaged foods, amazing. I wrote an article on more tips for a healthy heart http://www.healthyeatingworks.co.uk/heart-health/

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