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Which processed foods are the highest in sodium?

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
About 75% of the salt we eat daily comes from processed foods. Although some foods are advertised as low in sodium (140 mg or less per serving), others are much worse. These foods can be especially high in sodium:
  • Fast foods;
  • Lunchmeats such as turkey, ham, bologna, or smoked salmon;
  • Frozen entrees;
  • Instant breakfast cereals and frozen biscuits;
  • Canned vegetables, soups, and sauces;
  • Cheese;
  • Bread;
  • Snack items such as pretzels, chips, salted nuts, and crackers.

Cold cuts, cured meats and soups have a history of being notoriously high in sodium, but surprisingly bread and rolls actually top the list due to the frequency that we eat them. Forty percent of the sodium we eat comes from these processed foods:

  • Breads and rolls
  • Cold cuts and cured meats
  • Pizza
  • Poultry
  • Soups
  • Sandwiches
  • Cheese
  • Pasta dishes
  • Meat dishes
  • Snacks

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.