This Is How Much Sodium Is Hiding In Your Canned Food

Salt is crucial for our overall health. Sodium balances fluids in the body and is crucial for nerve function (via Harvard Health). It also controls blood pressure and blood volume. However, although sodium is vital for the human body, it doesn't take much to perform these functions. Too much sodium is a much bigger issue for most people than too little, especially in the United States.

Sodium is a common ingredient in many packaged foods. It acts as a preservative and adds flavor, so food manufacturers have many reasons to add it to their products. Unfortunately, so much sodium is added to these products that just a few servings can take up your entire daily allotment. According to Healthline, one cup of canned peas contains 620 milligrams of sodium, which is 26% of the recommended daily intake for an adult. You can significantly reduce the amount of sodium you eat when consuming canned vegetables by rinsing them before you prepare them.

Canned soup is another place to watch out for sodium. According to Eat This, Not That!, one can of soup contains about 1,200 to 1,400 milligrams of sodium on average. That is over half the daily recommended intake for most adults.

Side effects of too much sodium

According to the FDA, adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. However, most adults consume an average of 3,400 milligrams per day. There are many negative side effects of eating too much sodium. According to Healthline, a high sodium intake can cause water retention and increased thirst. It can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

You can reduce your sodium consumption by limiting processed and canned foods in your diet. Prepare your own foods when possible and opt for fresh or frozen vegetables and meats instead of canned. Limit the amount of salt you add to foods and choose to flavor your food with other sodium-free seasonings instead. Finally, be sure to read the nutrition labels of all packaged foods. Sodium is hidden in everything from soup to bread to cereal these days. Avoid foods with added salt as much as possible.