Sneaky Sources of Sodium
Low-fat cottage cheese might be a good source of protein, but it doesn’t win any points in the sodium department. One cup of the white stuff packs in a whopping 746 milligrams of sodium. All dairy, even plain milk, contains sodium (1 cup of milk has about 100 milligrams), but the sodium count really creeps up with cheese and especially cottage cheese. Look for a “no salt added” cottage cheese and then bump up the flavor with fresh or dried herbs.
Sauces and Salad Dressings
Bottled sauces and salad dressings top the charts of high-sodium condiments. One tablespoon of barbecue sauce contains 175 milligrams of sodium, while the same amount of teriyaki sauce has 690 milligrams. Sodium content varies by brands, so be sure to read the label. And make your own salad dressing — though many bottled varieties deliver 300 milligrams per 2 tablespoons, a homemade vinaigrette typically contains much less sodium (and you can bump up the flavor with chopped herbs and garlic).
Canned beans can offer a quick, easy high-fiber protein for a weeknight dinner, but if you’re not careful, they’ll also give you a hefty dose of sodium. Two tips to keep sodium in check: 1) rinse the beans and you’ll remove up to 40-percent of the sodium; 2) look for low-sodium or no-added-salt canned beans: they’re sometimes a little pricier but worth it. Better yet, prepare dried beans from scratch without salt. Store them in the freezer for convenient, ready-to-use salt-free beans.