Last week Yale University released a study that showed increased salt intake may be responsible for triggering autoimmune diseases. They studied cell function in 100 healthy individuals and noticed that when the people in the study visited fast food restaurants as little as once a week that they could actually measure an increased level in destructive inflammatory cells. These cells are responsible for attacking healthy tissue in autoimmune diseases. Some of these diseases include multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Of course, the dangers of excess salt are nothing new to people trying to follow a healthier way of eating. Excess salt has already been found culprit in heart disease, strokes and many other health problems.
The thing that people don’t always know, however, is that excess salt is found in health foods, healthy choices at restaurants and places you may not have imagined it would be found. So avoiding fast food might not be the only way to keep your salt intake down. Awareness will be the best tool you have in your “health artillery”. So where are some of the surprising locations of excess salt?
1. Healthy Soups. The can says organic and the soup is rich in vegetables and healthy ingredients but check the sodium content. Even healthy soups rely on a high sodium content to carry their flavor – you may be shocked at the sodium content in your “healthy” soup.
2. Bread – surprisingly BREAD is a big culprit in the salt intake area. Check the bread you are eating to see how much salt is in each slice. You might be shocked.
3. Cakes and Pastries – These pack a wollop of salt – especially the ones that are “gluten free” or “sugar free” because they have to put something in there to trick our taste buds into enjoying the different tastes they are presenting.
4. Cereal – check the sodium levels on your favorite organic healthy morning breakfast cereal. And note that even if it says “sea salt” it still translates to your body as sodium intake.
5. Vegetable Juices – They look so inviting with their 25 servings of vegetables…until you read the sodium content on the label.
6. Salad Dressing – Even healthy ones may contain 300-600mg of sodium PER SERVING. Wow.
7. Iced Tea – Yes, some of the flavored ones contain salt!
8. Chicken – Even “organic” chickens have sometimes been prepared with salt. Check out the packaging.
And of course there is pizza (760mg per slice!) and many others that we already know about like canned foods and fast foods.
Practice awareness and “back to basics” eating to keep yourself healthy.