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Salt Lurks Where You Might Not Expect It

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We know foods like deli meats, pizza and potato chips have lots of sodium. But salt also sneaks into less obvious foods, like bread. A 2018 survey by World Action on Salt and Health in London looked at 2,318 bread products from 32 countries (including the United States) and found that more than half of the breads had over 500 milligrams of sodium per 100-gram portion (about 2 slices of packaged bread). Even worse, a third of all breads delivered more than 1,130 mg of salt for every 100 g.

Given that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day and considers 1,500 mg an ideal upper limit for most adults, it’s clear that bread can be a major contributor to overconsumption. Bakers use sodium in bread production to boost flavor and act as a preservative. When shopping, look for loaves that provide little more than 150 mg of sodium per slice.

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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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