By Laura Ann Horwitz, CSUN DPD* Student
This is the first of a four part series of articles on Sodium, one of the essential micronutrients needed by our body for proper functioning and development.1 Why should you care about how much sodium is in your diet? Consuming too much sodium increases your risk of high blood pressure, putting you in danger of experiencing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.1 Recommended daily guidelines of sodium consumption for Americans are less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) every day.2 Each of the articles in this series will focus on different aspects of sodium in your diet, and how making small, healthy changes in the amounts you consume will improve your overall health.
Let’s begin by looking at 10 high sodium foods most Americans eat on a regular basis. Sodium is everywhere! Do you currently have any of these foods in your kitchen or refrigerator? They all contain high levels of sodium!
370-730 mg of sodium in a 4 ounce slice of frozen, regular crust, plain cheese pizza
510-760 mg of sodium in a 4 ounce slice of restaurant, regular crust, plain cheese pizza3
- Salted Snacks (such as popcorn, chips, pretzels & crackers)
50-200 mg of sodium in 1 ounce of plain potato chips3
- Rolls and Breads
80-230 mg of sodium in 1 slice of white bread3
- Meat Dishes
710-1,690 mg of sodium in a cheeseburger purchased at a fast food restaurant3
- Smoked & Processed Meats (deli luncheon meats, ham, hot dogs)
450-1,050 mg of sodium in a 3 ounce portion of turkey breast or deli/prepackaged luncheon meats3
- Chicken Nuggets & Chicken Patties
200-570 mg of sodium in a 3 ounce portion of chicken nuggets, breaded & frozen3
100-940 mg of sodium in 1 cup of canned & prepared chicken noodle soup3
330-460 mg of sodium in 1 ounce of processed American cheese, deli or packaged cheese3
600-1,120 mg of sodium in 1 cup of pasta with a meat sauce, canned3
- Mexican dishes
1,890 mg of sodium in a 16 ounce can of refried beans4
1,389 mg of sodium in some burritos4
1,121 mg of sodium in enchiladas4
1,288 mg of sodium in restaurant enchiladas4
If you are looking for a sweet treat with no salt, try making these Pumpkin Oatmeal cookies! Original recipe created by Laura Ann Horwitz, CSUN DPD* Student.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Serving size: 1 cookie
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies
- 3 cups Quick Cooking Oats (*Choose gluten-free oats to make this a gluten free recipe)
- 2/3 cup Oat Bran (*Choose gluten-free oats to make this a gluten free recipe)
- 3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin
- 1 container (approx. ½ cup) No Sugar Added Applesauce
Optional Add-In Ingredients: 1 cup Raisins, reduced sugar Craisins or Dried Cranberries, and/or Chocolate or Cocoa Chips may be added to mixture for variation [any optional ingredients added will change Nutrition Facts]
- Mix together dry ingredients.
- Slowly add (moist ingredients) pumpkin & apple sauce (add optional ingredients last if using).
- Drop 1 well-rounded tablespoon onto large cookie sheet to bake (can be placed a ¼” apart as the cookies do not spread when baked; top may be flattened so that cookies are approx. 1/2” thick).
- Bake in oven at 350o F for 10-12 minutes.
Nutrition Facts (per 1 cookie):
Calories 50; Total Fat 2g; Saturated Fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 0mg; Total Carbohydrate 6g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Total Sugars 1g; Protein 2g; Vitamin D 0mcg; Calcium 8mg; Iron 0mg; Potassium 21mg.
*DPD = Didactic Program in Dietetics
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Salt. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/salt/index.htm. Published March 22, 2018. Accessed June 11, 2018.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Top 10 Sources of Sodium. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/salt/sources.htm. Published September 14, 2017. Accessed May 29, 2018.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to reduce sodium. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/salt/reduce_sodium_tips.htm. Published March 22, 2018. Accessed May 29, 2018.
- USDA. Agriculture Research Service. USDA Food Composition Databases. USDA. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/. Published May 17, 2018. Accessed June 12, 2018.