Retaining water and putting on a few extra pounds in belly bloat is likely due to excess sodium in your body. Eating salty foods throws off the balance of sodium and water in your body, and the water is retained until it dilutes the salt you've consumed. Want to shed that pesky bloat? Get started by throwing away these surprising high-sodium foods from your kitchen!
1. Canned soup: It's easy and often low-calorie, but soup (especially canned versions) can put you up to half your daily sodium limit in one serving! A half-cup of Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup is only 90 calories but contains 480 milligrams of sodium! If you need to buy pre-made soup, go for a low-sodium variety. Really play it safe by making your own.
2. Sauced frozen vegetables: Lightly sauced corn or cheesy broccoli might make eating your veggies easier, but you're adding major calories and nearly 500 milligrams of sodium to your side dish. Buying frozen veggies is still healthy, but skip the sauce. You may also buy produce just after harvest and freeze it yourself to reap the nutritional benefits well after they're in season!
3. Bagels: Even a plain bagel can cost you 430 milligrams of sodium, not to mention 48 grams of carbohydrates. This starchy food is best left alone as it can make your belly bloat and won't leave you satisfied for long. If you can't kick the craving, opt for a bagel thin to reduce the sodium and starch.
>> Here are 8 more ways to make bagels healthy!
4. Frozen lunch meals: Sure, they're convenient and some may even claim to be healthy, but they don't skimp on sodium content. For example, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® Classic Favorites Ravioli Florentine meal contains 860 milligrams of sodium! Even reduced-sodium meals only have to contain 25 percent less than original meals, so they can still slyly pack in the salt.
5. Pancake mix: You avoid many other high-sodium breakfast staples, but pancakes can hide salt, too! Dry mix pancakes can contain nearly 500 milligrams of sodium per serving, so it's best to whip up your own batter if you're craving them for breakfast.
>> Make your own Quinoa Banana Pancakes and enjoy 3 pancakes with only 128 milligrams of sodium. Get the recipe here!
6. Packaged sliced deli meat: Packaged deli meats taste so salty because they're injected with high-sodium solutions to enhance flavor, so it's no surprise that just one slice can cost you about 300 milligrams of sodium. Buy fresh-cut meats to cut back on this artificial flavoring and reduce belly bloat! Plus, recent findings link some deli meat to cancer.
7. Chips and pretzels: These crunchy snacks (that often lead to overindulgence anyway) are packed with salt that'll cause water weight and belly bloat. Even baked versions or reduced-fat crunchy snacks can have the same amount of sodium, so it's best to toss out these temptations.
>> Need a crunchy snack? Give Crispy Kale Chips a try! Click here for the recipe or watch the video below.
8. Pizza with meaty toppings: Greasy, cheesy pizza might be a cheat day pleasure you occasionally enjoy, but a slice packed with salty pizza sauce and high-sodium meaty toppings can overwhelm your body with salt! If you need a pizza night, bake your own using a flatbread crust, light sauce and veggie toppings to cut back on calories, fat and sodium. Check out these healthy pizza recipes!
9. Dressings and condiments: Adding a little flavor to any dish can sneak in a lot of salt. A tablespoon serving of ketchup adds 154 milligrams of sodium and a tablespoon of salty soy sauce can reach up to 1,000 milligrams! Cut back on both salt and sugar by making your own ketchup with this easy recipe.