Almost everybody knows as they walk around the supermarket that foods, such as certain types of crisps, pork scratchings, salted peanuts and prawn crackers, are going to be relatively high in salt or sodium.

If you consume a high-sodium diet, you are putting yourself at risk of several serious health conditions. One of the most commonly known side effects of a long-term, high sodium diet is issues with your cardiovascular health and even heart disease. You are also putting yourself at a higher risk of a stroke, as too much salt causes the brain to swell. And, unfortunately, you are also likely to put on weight, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

So, if you are looking for a way to lower the sodium in your diet, do you know the types of foods you should be avoiding? If you have worries that your current diet Is doing you more harm than good, then read on.

Canned Soups

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When you are in a pinch, canned soups are a hearty meal that can fill you up and, if you are unwell, even make you feel a bit better. They are, however, often loaded with a high amount of sodium which acts as a preserving agent as well as adding taste. According to a study conducted by Action on Salt, a single serving of canned soup can sometimes contain nearly 3/4 of your recommended sodium intake. 


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Many people are aware that bread and rolls are very tasty and if they are handmade, they simply have a filling quality that you can’t seem to get from other foods.The truth is, however, that the sodium content does vary between different types of bread and even brands of bread. So if you eat white bread everyday, it’s highly likely that you are going to be upping your sodium intake, more than you realize! 

Cured Meats

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Do you like salami? Luncheon meat? These are cured meats, which are also known as cold cuts. They are popular the world over for the taste and convenience that they bring when you need to make sandwiches but, the process of curing the meats with seasoning and preserving agents leaves the end product with a very high sodium content. So, be sure to consume deli meats in moderation.


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It seems that as a snack food, or a food that you eat when out and about, pizza is one of the most popular. Brits, Americans, Germans….everyone seems to love pizza! However, pizza combines a lot of the aforementioned high sodium food, which makes it taste morish and somewhat addictive. Remember, the majority of pizzas are laden with cheese, tomato sauce and processed meats like pepperoni. Yes, they are tasty but they all up your sodium intake. So, cut out the pizza!

Prepared Poultry

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Poultry, such as chicken and turkey is known for being low in sodium when it is fresh, and due to be roasted! However, the prepared type, which you may find at your supermarket deli, has been injected with broth or even a saline solution which can enhance the flavor and the moisture content of the meat.So, be sure to check the packaging; if it suggests that a flavoring, a broth, or a solution has been added to the chicken, you should skip it. 

Breakfast Cereals

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It came to the attention of many parents a few years back that a lot of cereals were loaded with sugar. However, it has now been exposed by Cambridge University that many cereals are also high in salt. So, even if you are eating cereal that appears to be healthy, check the label to ensure that the sodium level is low. Or, opt for simple cereals that do not have any added bits, like raisins or other types of dried fruits.

Salad Dressings

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Who doesn’t love salad dressing on a hot summer’s day? Raspberry dresses, vinaigrette dressings are tasty and cooling but, when you are choosing the type of dressing, you should check the content. Even sweet tasting salad dressings can be loaded with salt, especially if they are store bought. So, try to opt for the oil-based salad dressings as these are usually lower in salt. 


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Cheese is high in salt? Well, no, not all cheeses but, there are many processed cheeses which are very high in sodium. Even if you are eating small amounts of cheese, this can contribute to your daily salt intake. 

If you love cheese and need to cut down on sodium, try and eat options like ricotta, mozzarella, and Swiss. If you need a list to actively avoid, then you should avoid blue cheese, romano, Parmesan, feta and Roquefort. 

Canned Vegetables

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You would be forgiven for assuming that all vegetables are full of vitamin C and are linked to better health. However, when you walk in your supermarket and you see tinned vegetables or canned vegetables, these will usually have high levels of sodium. The reason is simple; salt is a preservative and it is added to the water that these vegetables sit in to extend the shelf life. So, if you are stacking up on tinned or canned vegetables, be sure to rinse them before adding them to any food.To reduce the amount of sodium you consume. 


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Like the aforementioned salad dressings, there are some other condiments that have been known to have a high sodium content, such as soy sauce, ketchup, and mustard.

So if you have to have soy sauce with your Chinese food, make sure you opt for the lower sodium option.Or, why not try your hand at making your own ketchup or BBQ condiments fresh each time? That way, you learn some interesting mixing and cooking skills too!

Baked Goods 

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Are those muffins that you buy in a box really high in salt? Well, yes! Many baked goods that you will buy from a supermarket are loaded with high sodium levels because, you guessed it, they need to last a long time on the shelves. So, again, it can be worth learning to make these yourself, or buying them from a bakery once in a while. 

Packaged Noodles

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Many people know that Ramen or Pot Noodles make a quick and tasty meal option. However, if you eat these everyday, not only will you likely experience constipation, but you will also be eating a lot of sodium! A Pot Noodle contains a shocking 33% of the RDA of salt. So, maybe cut back on them a bit and try this recipe instead!

Microwave Meals

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If you are short on time, frozen or microwave meals can be a convenient option. However, it may come as no surprise to learn that they are simply loaded with salt, to preserve the flavor and even to keep it looking as it does on the label. There are, of course, healthy options so, as always, check the label!


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This should come as no real surprise but, even the healthiest type of chips that you can buy are going to have a lot of sodium. This can make them tastier, but is not an ideal option if you want to lower your sodium levels. So, why not try baking your own chips at home?

Pickled Foods

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When it comes to Christmas and Thanksgiving, many people opt for canned or pickled foods. However, these are often very high in sodium and sugar, which are core parts of preserving those beets! So, if you cannot get rid of the pickles with your barbecue or your Thanksgiving meal, wash them off and pat them dry with a paper towel; this usually gets rid of excess salt and leaves you with all of the taste!

Seasoning Mixes

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Do you like food that comes with seasoning packets? This is common for meals such as chili, tacos or even some types of noodles and meats. The issue is that these small packets of brightly colored seasoning also pack a whopping dose of sodium.

So, as before, be sure to check the sodium content before you add these flavoring packets or, if you aren’t sure about the levels of salt, why not try and make the flavorings yourself? There are many homemade recipe options online for flavoring foods.

Sports Drinks

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Most people will only buy sports drinks when they are exercising or practicing for a marathon, as these drinks are sold and marketed as a great way to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating. However, what many people are not aware of is that they also have a very high level of sodium.

So, if you’re going to be consuming sports drinks for fitness or health benefits, be sure to check the label. It has even been found that drinking water or even coconut water are often healthier hydration options, which do not throw your sodium intake off balance and also replenish electrolytes and water. So, these may be suitable alternatives.

Packaged Sushi

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Fresh fish and rice are known to be low in salt when they are on their own, but when it comes to packaged sushi, there are often many high sodium ingredients that have been added.These can include soy sauce, wasabi, (which is also very spicy), and pickled ginger. Research by Eating Well found that even miso soup, which can be a part of a sushi meal, is very high in sodium. So, if you have to have sushi and cannot cut it out of your diet, it is best to try and make it yourself or to check the label. 

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