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"Healthy" Foods With More Sodium Than French Fries, Says Science

These healthy foods are, admittedly, quite salty.

One of the best things you can do for your heart is to reduce your daily sodium intake.

The most recent USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day to help prevent hypertension and other health issues. However, the American Heart Association recommends that most adults cut their consumption down to just 1,500 milligrams daily.

To offer perspective on just how much any packaged good—even if it's considered to be healthy—can often pack a lot of sodium, we compared four healthy foods' sodium content to that of McDonald's World Famous Fries. For context, a small size contains 180 milligrams of sodium, the medium has 260 milligrams of sodium, and the large packs 400 milligrams of sodium.

You'll probably be surprised to learn which "healthy" snacks have more sodium than a large pack of fries from the Gold Arches. Then, be sure to read 8 Salty Snacks to Always Leave on Grocery Store Shelves!

1

Pasta sauce

Bolognese sauce on spaghetti.
Shutterstock

Pasta isn't an unhealthy meal by any means. However, it's worth noting that pasta sauce can be quite salty. For example, a 1/2 cup serving of Prego Traditional Italian Sauce contains 480 milligrams of sodium, well over the amount that's in one large size of McDonald's French fries.

2

Cheese crisps

moon cheese cheddar bites

No shade to Moon Cheese, but we'd consider this to be a salty snack. Just one serving, or 14 pieces, of the keto-friendly food contains 350 milligrams of sodium. For perspective, that's almost 100 milligrams more sodium than what's in a medium-size McDonald's fries.

3

Beef jerky

beef jerky
Shutterstock

Whether beef jerky is considered a healthy snack or not is a polarizing conversation amongst health experts. Wherever you stand, though, one thing is for certain: Beef jerky is packed in sodium. It's processed meat, after all! For example, 1 ounce of Jack Links Teriyaki Beef Jerky has 590 milligrams of sodium—that's nearly 200 milligrams more than what a large size of French fries from McDonald's contains.

4

Capers

Capers on silver spoon
Shutterstock

Have you ever tried capers? The tangy flower bud is a popular topping on Mediterranean dishes. While 1 tablespoon of capers only costs you 2 calories, it packs 238 milligrams of sodium. A salad or pizza may contain 2 tablespoons of capers, which means you're then consuming just under 500 milligrams of sodium from these, flowery, salty pea-sized capers alone. If you're eating them on top of a cheese or pepperoni pizza, you could be at risk of consuming the suggested 2,300 milligrams of sodium all in one sitting.

For more, be sure to check out One Major Side Effect of Drinking Sugary Beverages, Says New Study, and then be sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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