Now, there's a caveat with this... because I don't think sodium intake is something you should be overly concerned with. I've written on this extensively in the past (see The Problem With Salt Restriction, How to Prevent High Blood Pressure, and A Snarky Rant on Sodium and Blood Pressure). It's not as important for keeping a healthy blood pressure as you think it is.
Regardless, there are many people out there who will completely ignore this advice because their doctor and the media say otherwise. Fine. If you're going to worry about sodium intake, I can at least provide you with some useful tips.
Let's play a little game! The other day I went snooping around the grocery store taking pics of food labels. I've got 5 foods here. Here's how it's going to work: I will give you the 5 foods that I've taken pictures of, but I will only be showing you the unidentified food label with the sodium content. I'd like you to try to place the names to their respective sodium levels! Ready, set, go!
Here are your options:
Special K Cereal
Regular Lay's Potato Chips
Whole Wheat Bread
And here are your sodium contents:
Take your best guess before scrolling down!! Otherwise you're a dirty cheater.
And the results:
|Lay's Potato Chips|
|Whole Wheat Bread|
How did you do??? Not well I presume.
Like I said, your taste buds can deceive you!! Foods with added salt like almonds, butter, and potato chips DO NOT in fact contain a lot of sodium! While grain-based processed foods like Special K and whole wheat bread contain MORE sodium than these salted foods. But since we don't taste the salt, we assume it's not there. Wrong!
If you're going to worry about sodium, despite my best advice, at least do it right. Always read the label!