With nutrition discussion so often focused on carbs, proteins, fat and sugars, it can be easy to forget that far too many of us are consuming excessive amounts of salt on a daily basis. In fact, despite recommendations for us to limit our sodium intake to less than 2000mg each day, many of us are consuming 2-3 x this amount on a daily basis thanks to a diet heavy in processed foods. Here are a few of the foods you probably do not consider to be unhealthy choices, yet foods which can be ridiculously high in salt.
A seemingly simple quick and easy meal on the run, packet noodles and in particular noodle bowls can contain more than 2000mg of sodium in a single bowl, thanks to the little seasoning sachet which can contain a number of different types of salts and flavours.
Popular in recent years, not only is a single serve of Turkish bread equivalent to 4-5 slices of regular bread in carb terms but it is packed full of added salt with a single serve offering more than 1000mg of sodium, or more than 1/2 the recommended upper daily limit.
While wraps are often considered a healthier choice, a recent report commissioned by Helga’s* has found that some wraps can contain more than 500-600mg of sodium in a single wrap. For this reason to make a healthy wrap choice look for brands that contain less than 600mg of sodium per 100g.
With a single tablespoon of soy sauce containing more than 1200mg of sodium, if you consider that popular Asian dishes may contain several high salt sauces including fish, oyster and hoisin sauce, a slat overload is the reason you may feel particularly thirsty and bloated after your favourite Asian feast.
Often a single packet food sachet can contain very few calories and as such are interpreted as a healthy, low calorie diet food but to give the mix flavour packet soups are often packed with salts and can contain 600-800mg of sodium in a single packet.
All processed meats contain added salt to help preserve them and add flavour but prosciutto is one of the saltiest with 2 thin slices containing more than 500mg of sodium.
Another sauce we would not think twice before adding to a favourite meal, a single 50g serve of curry paste contains more than 1000mg of sodium and that is before you consider the other ingredients used to make an entire curry.
Any food found in a tin will generally contain some added salt to help preserve the food but tomato based spaghetti options are particularly high with up to 600mg in a ½ cup serve.
*Susie is currently working as a consultant Dietitian and spokesperson for Helga’s and provided commentary for this report. To read more about the report and it’s results, click here.