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The Sodium Scoreboard.

Sodium sticker shock. That's what you may feel as you scan this list of sodium levels in foods, especially the restaurant foods. While it's difficult to do much about those, here are four tips to help you navigate salt-laden supermarket aisles:

1. Make it yourself, Most unprocessed foods are low in sodium. So the less you rely on packaged foods, the less sodium you'll eat. And you'll get to savor the genuine pleasures of a homemade salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, bread, or vegetable or bean soup.

2. Look for lower-sodium brands. Just because Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce has 1,320 mg of sodium per cup doesn't mean that all spaghetti sauces have that much. A cup of Healthy Choice Traditional Pasta Sauce, for example, has 780 mg. Enrico's (delicious) No Salt Added Pasta Sauce has just 110 mg. The same goes for breads, crackers, frozen dinners, pretzels, soups, and just about every other packaged food in the supermarket. In restaurants, there's no label to check, but in supermarkets, you'd better shop around.

3. Look for "low-sodium," "reduced-sodium," or "healthy" foods. You can find beans, breads, crackers, pretzels, soups, and other foods labeled "low sodium" (less than 140 mg per serving). A "reduced sodium" food must have at least 25 percent less sodium than usual, so the sodium savings can range from terrific to trivial. Healthy Choice, Campbell's Healthy Request, and other foods with "healthy" on the label contain no more than 480 mg of sodium per serving for individual foods and 600 mg for frozen dinners, meal kits, or other "meal-type" foods. And cutting sodium by 50 percent is one way a food can make a "light" (or "lite") claim (like Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce), though cutting fat or calories is a more common reason for the claim.

4. The less processed, the better. Less processed usually means less sodium. For example, any natural cheese (cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, etc.) has less sodium than a processed cheese like American or Cheez Whiz. Quick or old-fashioned oatmeal has less sodium than instant (Quaker Quick takes only one minute). Fresh cooked turkey has less sodium than processed turkey slices.
Food Sodium
Supermarket Foods (mg)

Quaker Oats Quick oatmeal
 (1 cup prepared) 0
Barley, bulgur, pasta,
 or rice, cooked (1 cup) less than 10
Beans, dried, cooked
 (1/2 cup) or tofu (3 oz.) less than 10
Fruit, canned, dried,
 fresh, or frozen less than 10
Fruit juice (1 cup) less than 10
Nuts and seeds, unsalted (1 oz.) less than 10
Eggs, cooked (1) 60
Vegetables, fresh, raw or cooked less than 75
Triscuit, Low Sodium
 (7 crackers--1 oz.) 75
Quaker Instant Oatmeal,
 Regular Flavor (1 packet) 80
Wheat Thins, Low Sodium
 (16 crackers--1 oz.) 80
Meat, poultry, or fish,
 fresh, cooked (3 oz.) less than 90
Enrico's No Salt
 Added Pasta Sauce (1 cup) 110(*)
Milk (1 cup) 125(*)
Yogurt (8 oz.) 160(*)
Triscuit, Original
 (7 crackers--1 oz.) 170
Cheese, cheddar (1 oz.) 180
Lay's Classic Potato
 Chips (20 chips--1 oz.) 180(*)
Tuna, canned, drained (2 oz.) 200
General Mills Wheaties (1 cup) 220
Ritz Crackers (10 crackers--1 oz.) 270
Wheat Thins, Original (16 crackers--1 oz.) 270(*)
Bread, white or whole-wheat (2 slices) 280
General Mills Cheerios (1 cup) 280
Kraft Ranch salad dressing (2 Tbs.) 290
Cheese, American (1 slice--3/4 oz.) 300
Shellfish, fresh,
 cooked (3 oz.) less than 360
Nabisco Original Premium
 Saltine Crackers (10--1 oz.) 380
Pickle, dill 11 spear--1 oz.) 380(*)
Bread, pumpernickel or rye (2 slices) 390
Cottage cheese (% cup) 420(*)
Oscar Mayer Wiener (1) 440
Campbell's Healthy Request Chicken
 Noodle or Tomato Soup (1 cup) 450
Healthy Choice Bologna (2 slices) 480
Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing (2 Tbs.) 510
Health Choice Chicken Parmigiana
 (1 dinner--11 oz.) 550
Raid Gold Classic Style
 Thins (9 pretzels--1 oz.) 560
Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Macaroni
 & Cheese (1 dinner--10 oz.) 560
Healthy Choice Beef Tips
 Portabello (1 dinner--11 oz.) 600
Oscar Mayer Bologna (2 slices) 600
Soy sauce, reduced sodium (1 Tbs.) 600
Campbell's Condensed Soup, Tomato (1 cup) 710
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese,
 Original (1 cup prepared) 750
Oscar Mayer Baked-Cooked Ham (3 slices) 760
Healthy Choice Garlic & Herb
 or Traditional Pasta Sauce (1 cup) 780
Soy sauce (1 Tbs.,) 870
Campbell's Condensed Soup,
 Chicken Noodle (1 cup) 890
Totino's Crisp Crust Pizza,
 Pepperoni (1/2 pizza) 910
Stouffer's Lasagna with Meat
 and Sauce (1 dinner--10 oz.) 1,050
Nissin Cup Noodles, Chicken (1 container) 1,170
Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce (1 cup) 1,320
Stouffer's Macaroni &
 Cheese (1 dinner--12 oz.) 1,490
Uncle Ben's Mexican Style Bowl,
 Southwest Style Chicken (1) 1,810
Salt (1 tsp.) 2,330

Restaurant Foods

Taco Bell Taco (1) 330
McDonald's French
 Fries (super size) 390
KFC Biscuit (1) 560
Crispy chicken tacos (2) 720
Burger King Whopper (1) 900
McDonald's Chicken
 McGrill Sandwich (1) 970
Roast beef sandwich
 with mustard (9 oz.) 990
Taco Bell Bean Burrito (1) 1,080
McDonald's Big Mac (1) 1,100
KFC Original Recipe Breast (1) 1,120
Subway Turkey Breast Sub (6-inch) 1,170
Burger King French
 Fries (king size) 1,180
Pizza Hut Pan Pizza,
 Veggie Lover's (2 slices) 1,200
Stuffed potato skins (8 skins--12 oz.) 1,270
McDonald's Quarter
 Pounder with Cheese (1) 1,310
Tuna salad sandwich (11 oz.) 1,320
Turkey sandwich with mustard (9 oz.) 1,410

Chicken Caesar salad
 with dressing (4 cups) 1,490
Fried clams (8 oz.) 1,660
Chicken burrito (14 1/2 oz.) 1,740
Buffalo wings (12 wings--13 oz.) 1,750
Fried mozzarella
 sticks (9 sticks--8 oz.) 1,890
Corned beef sandwich with mustard (9 oz.) 1,920
Lasagna (2 cups) 2,060
KFC Chunky Chicken Pot Pie (1) 2,160
Spaghetti with meatballs (3 1/2 cups) 2,210
Ham sandwich with mustard (9 oz.) 2,340
Szechuan shrimp with rice (3 1/2 cups) 2,460
Kung pao chicken with rice (4 1/2 cups) 2,610
Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza,
 Meat Lover's (2 slices) 2,850
Beef and broccoli with rice (4 cups) 3,150
Reuben sandwich (14 oz.) 3,270
House lo mein (4% cups) 3,460
Chicken fajitas with tortillas
 (4), beans, rice, and guacamole 3,660
Cheese fries (4 cups--27 oz.) 4,020


(*) Average Chart compiled by Ingrid Van Tuinen.

Sources: USDA, manufacturers, and CSPI restaurant studies.
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Title Annotation:list of sodium levels in foods
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Words:1049
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