We know to watch out for high-fat foods, refined sugars, high cholesterol content and more, but most of us don't even bother to check our labels for sodium! Many of our favorite foods sneak in the salt right under our noses, so the next time you are at the store make sure you look out for these crafty culprits.
>> Read more: Constantly Craving Salt? Sugar? Fats? Learn Why Here
1. Sauces: Beware those pasta sauces, salad dressings and marinades, because even a single serving can clock in at about 15 percent of your daily sodium quota! You know all that ketchup you are so fond of slathering on your burger and fries? Two tablespoons contains nearly 13 percent of your daily value! Best to slap a tomato on your next cheeseburger instead. Looking for a healthier alternative? Check out our Skinny Bleu Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Burgers.
2. Cold cuts: Even if you skip the prepackaged stuff and head straight for the deli, there's a good chance your meat is packing quite a bit of salt! A mere two-ounce serving of turkey can bring you to about half of your daily sodium allowance. You can give the lower sodium options a go, but make sure you keep an eye on the label. Even lower sodium options can add up!
3. Cottage cheese: One cup of cottage cheese boasts only 200 calories, 28 grams of high-power protein, and just 8 grams of carbs for a snack that is perfect for those of us watching our waistlines! However, it also has about 40 percent of your daily value of salt, so you may want to consider low-sodium cottage cheese, some healthier cheeses, or Greek yogurt instead!
4. Bagels: Most people are not aware that bread is actually a major source of sodium. A plain bagel contains about 460 milligrams of salt — or around 19 percent of our daily value. An asiago cheese bagel totals about 580 milligrams, and an everything bagel comes to 640 milligrams! Better to stick with a slice of whole-wheat bread or bagel thin, which will eliminate over half of the sodium content!
>> Read more: 4 Reasons to Cut Down on Sodium
5. Chicken breasts: And here we were thinking that chicken was a tasty, lean addition to our menu! Don't worry, it still is! Some companies inject their meat with salt water to make it plumper and enhance the flavor. Unfortunately, this jacks up the sodium content to about 400 milligrams instead of the original 40! Look for "non-enhanced" or organic chicken instead. Check out how to avoid dangerous additives by clicking here!
6. Soup: Low calorie? Sure. But calories aren't everything, ladies! Most canned soups contain a ridiculous amount of sodium, so check those nutrition labels. One cup of tomato soup may only have around 75 calories, it sports about 20 percent of your daily value of salt. We recommend making your own soups so you can control the sodium content, or purchase the lower sodium canned soup.
7. Processed cheese: We can only warn you away from processed food so many times before we begin to sound like a broken record player. In case we still haven't won you over, it should be noted that processed cheese contains a ridiculous amount of salt. One slice can have more than 500 milligrams of sodium, depending on the brand. Even the ones labeled "light" contain about 250 milligrams! Keep it real, ladies.
8. Pancakes: We may associate pancakes with sweet, heavenly goodness, but restaurants slip in a whole slew of ingredients that would shock us! Did you know that three of IHOP's buttermilk pancakes contains 1,400 milligrams of sodium? That's well over half of our daily value! We recommend sticking to your favorite homemade recipe instead! Or you can pump up your pancakes with our favorite recipes here!
9. Veggie burgers: Most veggie and soy burgers out there are packed with processed ingredients. The companies that produce them often add a boatload of sodium to cover up the taste! Some of these burgers can include more than 500 milligrams of salt, and that's before you tack on a bun and condiments!
10. Breakfast cereals: Sugar? Yeah, sure. But sodium? Believe it or not, most of our favorite cereals are loaded with a surprising amount of salt! Fiber One Honey Clusters lists its sodium content at 230 milligrams, or about 10 percent. Stick with cereals like shredded wheat or oatmeal to avoid that hidden salt!