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Lose the “Secret Salt” Hiding in Your Food

Lose the “Secret Salt” Hiding in Your Food

Moviegoers love a good secret. There are more than 200 movies with the word “Secret” in the title—including, we kid you not, The Secret Lives of Dentists and The Secret of the Ooze. Those secrets can set you back $12 and waste your time, but the secret salt hidden in food at the concession stand and on processed foods in stores can knock you off your feet.

Related: How Much Sodium is Too Much?

A new survey from Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic shows how much we don’t know about secret sodium sources (hint: they’re most often found in prepared foods). Today’s top 10 foods with excess sodium? Numero uno is bread and three-quarters of you told the Clinic’s researchers you had no idea the salt was in there! The high-sodium list continues with cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes, and snacks.

How Salty Are You?
Why does this matter? Chances are, like most North Americans, you eat around 3,300 mg of sodium a day. But 60 percent of you -- that’s anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or kidney problems -- should have only 1,500 mg of sodium per day. And (thank heavens!) for less than 0.5 percent of you who have salt-sensitive high blood pressure, excess intake of sodium is deadly.

How to Cut Out Excess Sodium
To avoid salt-bombs, prepare fresh foods so you control the salt shaker; skip fast foods and packaged meals. For the rest of you, just cut back on sodium-filled foods and table salt; the excess elevates blood pressure a little, which can promote heart disease and stroke. But you don’t need to be overly compulsive about cutting salt -- just a little careful.

Related: Ask Dr. Oz: What Can I Do if I’m Addicted to Salt?

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