Sodium can be really sneaky. It finds its way into a wide range of foods and beverages, some of which do not even taste salty, increasing your chances of consuming too much without even knowing it.

Keeping your sodium intake in check is important if you want to reverse or prevent osteoporosis, because too much sodium, particularly in isolation, damages bone by causing calcium loss. And, as you surely know, too much sodium is detrimental to your general health as well.

So in today’s post, we’re going to shed some light on common hidden foods where sodium lurks. Prepare to be surprised!

1. Breakfast Cereal

This may come as a shock to many, but some breakfast cereals can have almost 300 mg of sodium just per one-cup serving. This may not sound like a lot, but remember, the numbers keep adding up throughout the day. So make sure you look at the list of nutrients listed on the box, or just forego breakfast cereal altogether in favor of bone-healthy smoothies, homemade granola, or plain yogurt with raw honey and fruit.

2. Frozen Meals

Also known as “TV dinners”, they used to come in a tin that had to be heated in the regular oven. Even though the name and method of heating have changed, these pre-prepared (most often microwavable) meals have always been and still are loaded with sodium. Some of these dinners can have more than 750mg of sodium each, and additionally, they can have many other additives and fillers that harm your bones.

3. Canned Vegetables

I often receive e-mails from Savers who want to know about using canned vegetables in place of fresh in various recipes. The answer is not a straight-forward yes or no, because most canned veggies are preserved in cans that are lined with toxic BPA in addition to having very high sodium content. However, if you look for BPA-free cans and no- or low-sodium contents, it’s okay to use canned vegetables occasionally if you cannot get them fresh or frozen.

4. Roasted, Salted Nuts

I’m sure you’re aware that the closer a food is to its natural state, the healthier it is. This goes for nuts, too, many of which are Foundation Foods in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Even acidifying nuts have a place in a bone-healthy diet because their nutrient value is so high. But when nuts of any type are roasted, cooked in unhealthy oil, and covered with salt, they lose their status as bone-building foods. Salted peanuts can contain almost 200mg of sodium per ounce – that’s around 30 peanuts, and it’s all-too-easy to consume more than 30 nuts.

5. Canned, Bottled Vegetable Juices

Store-bought veggie “cocktails” offer quite a few vegetables in liquid form, but they do contain excessive sodium and on top of that, they’re pasteurized, so they barely contain any valuable nutrients. One cup of a typical veggie juice contains 479mg of sodium. While there are some low-sodium versions, if you want to find a bone-healthy alternative to your favorite store-bought veggie juice, you can make your own alternative with a juicer. Vegetable smoothies are also very tasty and good for your bones.

6. Sodium Goes By Other Names

As you’re checking labels in the grocery store, keep an eye out for any ingredient with the word “sodium” in it – trisodium phosphate, sodium alginate, sodium saccharin, and even the chemical symbol “Na” are used to describe ingredients that will raise the overall sodium level of the food.

7. Canned Soup

It’s tempting to turn to canned soup when it’s cold outside. However, it’s best to nourish your bones with homemade soups full of nutritious Foundation Foods instead, because canned soup is packed with sodium. Conventional canned soup has anywhere from 700 to 750mg of sodium per cup, and it’s very easy to eat more than one cup at a time, especially in winter.

8. Eating Out At Restaurants

There’s nothing wrong with an occasional meal out. But make sure you watch the salt – many restaurants (especially fast food chains) rely heavily on salty fare like deli meat, frozen, prep-prepared foods, and highly-seasoned batters and coatings. So when you are dining out, don’t be afraid to ask for low-sodium options and request that the cook not add any extra salt to your food. In addition, look for items on the menu that are not as likely to contain lots of salt, such as broiled or grilled fish with a salad.

9. Deli Meats

Processed, cured meats and cold cuts account for approximately 10% of the food supply in America, making this category of foods a widespread source of sodium. Much of the sodium in these cured meats comes from sodium nitrite, a carcinogenic preservative that is highly acidifying. If you do wish to have some deli meat on occasion, look for nitrite-free options or, even better, cook your own meats and slice them.

10. Bagged Snacks

Most potato chips, pretzels, and other bagged snacks are very high in sodium, whether baked or fried. Choose energizing, bone-smart snacks instead, such as plain yogurt topped with fruits and raw nuts, or cut-up vegetables with healthful dips.

11. Jarred Spaghetti Sauce

This is a pantry staple for many people, but jarred pasta sauce contains large amounts of sodium, and it’s also a source of added sugar. Just half a cup of typical spaghetti sauce has over 550mg of sodium, so look for low sodium versions or make your own pasta toppings.

Does this information seem overwhelming? Take heart , because…

Study Shows The Brain Can Learn To Prefer Healthy Foods

Scientists studied the brain activity of 13 overweight individuals. Specifically, they looked at the brains’ addiction and reward centers, areas that would show activity when participants observed pictures of unhealthy, high-sugar, high-salt foods. After six months of following a weight-loss program that emphasized healthful foods, follow-up MRIs showed a response in participants’ brains’ reward centers when they were shown pictures of low-calorie, healthful foods.1

Remarkable! Your brain can learn to respond to, say, a leafy green salad the way it used to respond to French fries or an ice cream sundae. You won’t have to struggle through those cravings once your brain learns to like the nutritious stuff.

So as you can see, it does not have to be difficult to overcome unhealthy food cravings. In fact, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program can help you beat cravings for “junk” foods, just like the dietary plan referred to in the study.

It’s unlikely that your doctor discussed food cravings with you when he or she diagnosed you with osteoporosis. It’s even less likely that your doctor mentioned excessive sodium and how that can destroy your bones.

Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss

Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

Learn More Now →

But the Program is well ahead of the Medical Establishment. While doctors rarely mention the role of nutrition in osteoporosis, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program covers all the nutritional bases and more, and it’s all backed by scientific studies.

When you follow the Program, you’ll always be ahead of the game!

Till next time,

References:

1 Deckersbach, T., et al. “Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioral intervention.” Nutrition and Diabetes. September 1, 2014. 4, e129; doi:10.1038/nutd.2014.26. Web. http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v4/n9/full/nutd201426a.html

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29 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Diane January 25, 2016, 1:39 pm

    What is vegetarian butter and where can I get it?

    thanks

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 25, 2016, 4:33 pm

      Hi Diane,

      Vegetable spread is any natural, non-hydrogenated, non-dairy spread. There are several on the market – Smart Balance, Earth Balance, and Spectrum Naturals are a few of the available brands. They should be easily obtained from your local health food store or grocery store. 🙂

  2. Cynthia January 25, 2016, 11:36 am

    What about sea salt. Isn’t sea salt healthy for you? And isn’t sea salt alkalizing compared to regular salt is acidic?

  3. Jasu Lala January 24, 2016, 3:03 pm

    hi Vivian,Thanks for the salt tips. Great. I enjoy reading all that you write and try and do all the exercises.
    Just wanted to know what can I do for the severe cramps I get in my legs at night. And also Migraine headaches.
    Thanks alot.
    Jasu

  4. Asha January 23, 2016, 6:18 am

    Dear Vivian
    This is first time I’m on this site. I want to join your programm on save our Bones some
    how I live with my daughter in UK. I have osteoporosis(last 9 inches in hight) many fractured bones on protelos from 2005. Sleep apnea at night on bipap. Cholesterol
    and hypothyroid normal. BP fluctuation are still there. I have been looking for remedy
    Herbal may be. In UK there is GP system where only 10 min or double 20 min available. Drs are very busy. Even though I’m normal on Thyroid and chl Dr said these
    Drugs are for life. Also I found from other Dr. Im anaemic and suggested ferrous sulfate I read on osteoporosis and magnesium is required to observed calcium 2:1??
    Dr told me they new it and its OK. I don’t know if your programm can help? I’m very stressed When I asked Dr his comment was I should see… Please guide me. I’m eating
    only home cooking. Now I have been more on nutrients needed help. Awaiting reply
    Thanks GP left me with anaemia for years no wonder my drugs did not help eventhough I’m high dose of calcium test show calcium is also low. Where is calcium
    going? Sorry to trouble you

    Asha

  5. Annie January 21, 2016, 1:11 am

    Thanks for the sodium info.
    I just want to mention.
    If your eating out be Very careful using salad dressing , it’s full of sodium, and when you ask for oil & vinegar at your table , ask for olive oil, or you might get , Canola oil,peanut oil etc..

    Btw, Himalayan sea salt , is still salt, and it counts as salt, even though it’s a better choice.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 21, 2016, 9:38 am

      Thanks for the tips and information, Annie!

  6. judy January 20, 2016, 8:30 am

    Hi – Been reading a lot about taking K2 – does that clot the blood like K1? which is in the dark leafyh vegetables. I have Factor V but I know K2 is suppose to help with bone health too along with magnesuim, D3 and calcium, Please help – have osteoporesis – they want me to start on Proleo injections_is that any safer then any of the other drugs/

    • Annie January 21, 2016, 1:19 am

      Judy,
      From my understanding, k1 is different then mk 2 & mk7.
      MK2 & mk7 takes the calcium from your Arteries – soft tissue to your bones, & teeth eternity.

      There are allot of other options then taking Osteo drugs, which have terrible side effects now, and later in life .

      Good luck

      • Annie January 21, 2016, 1:23 am

        Judy,
        Sorry , I have no idea how the word “eternity” got put into the end of that sentence !!!! Lol.

        Except I’m on my iPad ..

        Take care.

  7. Clara Mitchell January 19, 2016, 11:17 pm

    I enjoy reading your information on Save Our Bones, and I use your exercises on a daily bases. I would like to know more satisfying substitutes for sugar and salt.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 21, 2016, 9:36 am

      Hi Clara,
      I like to use stevia to enjoy a sweet taste without the bone-damaging effects of sugar. Tart flavors like lemon and vinegar are good salt substitutes in recipes and as condiments, and replacing table salt with alkalizing sea salt is a simple but important step. You’ll find more ways to stave off sugar cravings in this post:

      https://saveourbones.com/stop-sugar-cravings-with-these-7-bone-building-foods/

  8. Theresa Grant January 19, 2016, 6:59 pm

    All of my adult life I had to watch my sodium intake. High Bood pressure runs in my family. All of my Grandmother’s sisters died from strokes and I can tell when I have had too much sodium in my diet. I get a terrible headache and I take my blood pressure and find that it has gone up to 160/98. Some of my cousins have had strokes at an early age; 29 and 31. I appreciate this excellent message on sodium intake.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 21, 2016, 9:28 am

      It is wise to be aware of your family history, Theresa, and take steps to manage conditions that could arise. I am so glad this article is so relevant for you!

  9. eileen January 19, 2016, 3:50 pm

    thanks vivian for your information regarding sodium intake.will look more carefully at labels now.

  10. Marlene Villar January 19, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Good afternoon Vivian,
    Thank you very much for sharing this Excellent and
    valuable information. I truly appreciates receiving
    e-mails from you again.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Marlene

  11. Penny Peed January 19, 2016, 12:08 pm

    I just want to compliment you on your web site which is excellent. Easy to read, convenient and fast links, easily understandable sentences, great graphics, etc.
    thank you for all you do.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Thanks so much for you kind words, Penny!

  12. Catherine January 19, 2016, 12:05 pm

    Yes, so much better to avoid processed food with the processed salt. For home cooking, I’ve really liked using Himalayan pink salt, which naturally contains many minerals, plus it tastes so much better than processed salt.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2016, 2:24 pm

      That’s right, Catherine. The minerals in the Himalayan pink salt as well as in sea salt are valuable.

  13. Betty January 19, 2016, 9:27 am

    Thanks for the info re hidden sources of sodium. It is difficult to research every additive that is included in food when it is defined by an unknown title. Often the taste itself is a good indicator of higher levels of sodium. Hard to know how much we are really getting.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2016, 11:00 am

      Yes, sometimes foods full of sodium do not even taste salty.

  14. Susie January 19, 2016, 9:09 am

    Great info about hidden salt sources. Thanks.
    What is the best way to get iodine without salt?

  15. L.D. January 19, 2016, 7:51 am

    Good Day All, Since we are all around the world, we all read at different times of the day or night. I gave up processed everything awhile ago out of necessity. I do have to be careful to get enough salt in my diet. I’ve never been a sweet orientated gal but I was a salt person. You know all the guilty foods connected with that. Now I make sure I have whats needed and not beyond. It was tough at first but over time it leveled out and I am religious about reading anything in a container. If I bag it in the produce department, I know its okay, I even read labels in the meat department if pre-packed. It does cost me a little more but I try to go to a local family farm store when they’re open and our farmers market. I know those people and they know me, its safer in my opinion and I know what I eat or drink isn’t poisoned in some way and I do have recourse which we dont really have in most big stores.. Thanks for reading and have a really nice and bone healthy day…

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2016, 10:59 am

      Thanks for sharing, L.D. Your tips are appreciated!

    • Helen January 19, 2016, 10:01 am

      Hi All! I went a bit overboard on reducing my sodium intake….bought only low sodium or no sodium-added foods. After a while, I began to feel lightheaded and feeling like I was going to pass out, although I never did pass out, but the feeling was scary because I never knew when this was going to happen. My doctor did a blood test and everything checked out okay except my sodium was low. She told me not to drink less water (I was drinking about 8-9 glasses a day. I tried drinking only about 5 glass a day and a couple of weeks later was tested again and my sodium was normal. Now, I am back to about 7-8 glasses a day and still buy low sodium and no sodium products; however, I add a little of my own salt to foods now, a little unrefined sea salt. It’s better for us than the cheap refined stuff they put in packaged foods. So now I’m getting the sodium my body needs, but the good for me kind.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2016, 11:01 am

        Thank you, too, Helen, for sharing your experience. 🙂

  16. Betty January 19, 2016, 7:23 am

    I think you have the incorrect heading on today’s article. Thanks though for the info on sodium. Sodium is needed but too much is not and I appreciate learning the names of additives that are or contain sodium..

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