5 Surprising Sodium Sources

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • As you work to lower high blood pressure, it's important to limit the sodium in your diet. Current recommendations are to limit your sodium intake to 2300 mg per day or less. The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines will be released this year and it looks like sodium recommendations are going to be reduced even further to 1500 mg per day for all Americans (not just those with high blood pressure!).


    Many studies repeatedly find significant decreases in systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure with a reduction in sodium intake.


    Skeptism related to new guidelines


    The likelihood of the general population paying attention to a new reduced sodium guideline is slim. Should we reduce the guidelines to 1500 mg per day when few met the goal of less than 2300 mg per day?

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    Surprising sodium sources


    If you live with high blood pressure it's not that difficult to remove the salt shaker from the table. The problem comes from hidden sources of sodium. Let's cover 5 surprising sodium sources:


    1. Salad dressing

    Sodium content may range from 300-600 mg per serving. Consider making a healthy mix of your own dressing using olive oil, vinegar, and your choice of spices to reduce sodium intake.

    2. Granola bars

    One bar typically contains 65-80 mg of sodium. Be vigilant reading food labels! Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey contains 160 mg per serving.


    3. Diet Ice Tea

    Diet ice tea - should be perfectly healthy right? Frequently contains 80 mg/ serving and one bottle contains 2 servings.


    4. Flour Tortillas

    Reduce sodium by selecting corn tortillas. One 8-inch Mission flour tortilla contains 350 mg of sodium. One 6-inch Mission white corn tortilla contains 10 mg sodium, plus 3 grams of dietary fiber version the 1 gram in the flour tortilla.


    5. Breakfast Cereal

    Again, read the labels to avoid cereals with more than 350 mg of sodium per serving. Even raisin bran may be "high sodium"! Plus, pay attention to the serving size. If 1 serving is ½ a cup and you usually have 1 ½ cups of cereal, multiple the mg of sodium by 3.


    Be sure to sign up for the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure provided by Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at http://lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.


Published On: October 17, 2010