The best way to avoid hidden sodium in packaged, processed, and convenience foods is by reading the nutrition facts. Take a look at this label for a frozen turkey dinner being sold as healthy and lean. The total amount of sodium is 37% of the daily recommendation—certainly not a healthy choice.
Instead, aim for foods that are less than 20% of the daily value of sodium. As you shop, let the nutrition facts guide you toward lower-sodium options. Compare these boxed dinners. By choosing the one on the left you could avoid 470 mg of extra sodium.
Some other tips while shopping:
- Look for “low-sodium” or “no-salt-added” on the label.
- If possible, try to purchase fresh, frozen (no sauce), or no-salt-added canned vegetables.
- Avoid salty sauces and condiments such as soy sauce, salad dressing, steak or barbecue sauces, ketchup, and mustard. Choose low or reduced sodium versions when possible.
- Buy fresh or frozen meats instead of canned, smoked, or cured meats like cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon.