Taking the saltshaker off the table is a smart move, but there’s more to slashing sodium (and protecting your heart) than succumbing to unadulterated meat and vegetables. Eighty percent of the salt that Americans eat comes from processed and packaged foods, according to a new CDC report. That same study shows that men take in the most sodium, downing 4,575 mg per day, almost double the recommended max of 2,300 mg.
Curious about just how much salt is hiding in popular supermarket and restaurant foods? Check out the list below to learn how much sodium you could skip by making more meals at home.
Skip this: Panera Bread Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich – 2,820 mg sodium
Make this instead: Homemade Turkey, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich – 200 mg sodium (Get the recipe)
Skip this: T.G.I. Friday’s Jack Daniel’s Sampler – 4,510 mg sodium
Make this instead: Homemade Chicken Fingers with BBQ Sauce – about 400 mg sodium (Get the recipe)
Skip this: Digiorno Pepperoni Pizza – 960 mg sodium
Make this instead: Homemade Flatbread Pizza – 500 mg sodium (Get the recipe)
Skip this: Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo-Style Chicken Soup – 790 mg sodium
Make this instead: Homemade Crab and Corn Chowder – 290 mg sodium (Get the recipe)
Some things to keep in mind when easing up on salt:
- Each teaspoon of salt equals about 2,300 milligrams of sodium.
- Sea salt and table salt have the same amount of sodium, so don’t be fooled by packaged foods that tout “made with sea salt”—they’re not necessarily healthier.
- When you’re at the grocery store, compare mg of sodium, even among seemingly unsalty foods, like cereals and breads. For example, pumpernickel bread contains 430 mg of sodium per slice, while 100% whole-wheat bread has only 230 mg per slice.