The 10 Most Common Sources of Sodium

Most American adults consume too much sodium. The CDC recently released a report pinpointing the top sodium culprits so you can keep a mindful eye on them.

Nine out of 10 American adults eat too much sodium. Chances are you’re probably in that 90%. The CDC recently released a report pinpointing the top sodium culprits so you can keep a mindful eye on them.

The Issue

A February 2012 report released by the CDC, found 10 foods that are responsible for more than 40% of the sodium in our diets. Too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, which may put you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.  The report estimates the average adult eats about 3,300 milligrams of sodium each day—that’s almost 1½ times the recommended daily amount. The report found that 65% of sodium comes from food sold at the market while 25% comes from meals eaten in restaurants.

Find out more about the risks of high blood pressure.

The Biggest Culprits

These 10 foods account for 44% of the daily sodium consumed.

  • Breads and rolls
  • Luncheon meats like deli ham or turkey
  • Pizza
  • Poultry
  • Soups
  • Cheeseburgers and other sandwiches
  • Cheese
  • Pasta dishes
  • Meat dishes like meatloaf
  • Snack foods like potato chips and pretzels

The report notes that although some of the foods may not have much sodium in one portion, they’re eaten several times throughout the day making an impact on your total daily intake.

What You Can Do

There are many ways to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. One is to decrease portions of high-sodium foods like cheese and chips. A second is to choose lower sodium varieties of foods like deli meats and canned soups.

TELL US: How will you cut the sodium from your diet?

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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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