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Salty Six Foods Increase Risk of Heart Disease

Excess salt consumption in the American diet is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.  The American Heart Association recently identified six foods that are (sometimes surprisingly) high in sodium and make the 1,500 milligram of sodium per day limit exceedingly difficult to meet. 

According to the American Heart Association, the “salty six” foods that can quickly contribute to a sodium overload include:

  • Breads and rolls: Although many breads do not taste salty, one piece can have as much as 230 milligrams of sodium.
  • Cold cuts, cured meats: Deli and pre-packaged meats can contain as much as 1,050 milligrams of sodium, and sodium is added to most cooked meats to prevent spoilage.
  • Pizza: One slice of pizza can contain as much as 760 milligrams of sodium; just two slices will reach the recommended daily salt limit.
  • Poultry: Sodium levels in chicken vary based on how it’s prepared. Just three ounces of frozen breaded chicken nuggets can have 600 milligrams of sodium, while grilled and skinless preparations may have much less.
  • Soup: One cup of canned chicken noodle soup can have up to 940 milligrams of sodium.
  • Sandwiches: This food item combines two of the salty six, cold cuts and bread, with sodium-rich condiments, such as ketchup and mustard. Altogether, a single sandwich can easily surpass the recommended daily sodium limit.  
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