Overall, more than 75 percent of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods. This makes it hard to choose foods with less sodium and to limit sodium because it’s already added to food before we buy it. The rest of the sodium in our diets occurs naturally in food or is added by us when we’re cooking food or sitting down to eat. The latter only makes up only about 10 percent of our total sodium intake, so even if you never use the salt shaker, you’re probably getting too much salt.
The top six sodium sources in the U.S. diet include:
- breads and rolls
- cold cuts and cured meats
Surprised? Some of these don’t even taste salty! Different brands and restaurant versions of the same foods may have different sodium levels. Some foods come in versions with less sodium, too. Compare labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium you can find in your store.
Source: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association