There are some foods that taste undeniably salty – fries, potato chips, anchovies and olives. They leave you thirsty and craving more. So, it would make sense that these foods are the biggest shockers when it comes to salt, right? But what if I told you that there are 5 other foods that are the real shockers. Not only are they super salty, but they’re also sneaky – the salt is hidden, and you can’t always taste it!
1. Processed Meats
While processed meats like sausages, ham, and bacon certainly taste salty, even your taste buds will be shocked by just how much salt they are hiding. In fact, one serve of bacon contains 1.3g salt – that’s over a quarter of your maximum daily intake. And let’s be honest – who stops at one serve of bacon? Even lunchbox staples like ham and salami are full of salt.
#Salternative: The best advice is to try and avoid these processed meats as much as possible. Experiment with other options for sandwiches, like roast chicken or turkey breast. If you are stuck for ideas, check out our blog on sandwich fillers here. Morning cook ups can still be delicious with sides like avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.
2. Cooking Sauces
Store bought cooking sauces can be a quick and easy option for dinner on a busy weeknight, but would you be using them as often if you knew just how much salt can be packed into a jar? One serve of Napoli sauce contains on average 0.75g salt – that’s 15% of your maximum daily salt intake – and that’s for an adult. If kids are eating the same meal, it’s going to take up even more of their daily maximum.
#Salternative: Why not try making your own sauces so you can control the salt levels. Check out our delicious low salt tomato-based pasta sauce recipe here.
3. Ready Meals
Reaching for a ready-made meal from the freezer is another one of those weeknight dinner quick fixes. But the average ready meal contains 2.5g salt – that’s half the maximum daily allowance!
#Salterative: Making your own meals is always worth the extra effort. Try meal prepping on a weekend. It may take a few hours, but the time you save during the week will more than make up for it. We have some great recipe ideas for bulk cooking, check out our delish lasange here.
4. Dips and Crackers
Dips and crackers are a snacking staple – but that yummy salty flavour you might taste could be an indicator of just how salty it is. On average, dips contain 0.36g salt per 30g serve – that’s about 7% of your daily maximum intake. Most people consume way more than one serving of dip in a sitting, so that 7% could easily turn into 20% or even 30%! And don’t forget about the crackers. Crispbreads may be small, but they pack a big salt punch. Crackers contain on average 0.18g salt per 10g serving – again, who eats just 10g of crackers? Add the dip and the crackers and you end up with a seriously salty snack.
#Salternative: Some dips are a lot less salty than others so check the label and compare a few options before you buy. Otherwise, making your own dip is simple. Check out our 5 ingredient dip recipes here. Lastly, swap out the salty crackers for veggie sticks and you’ve got a pretty healthy snack!
5. Dressings and Condiments
Squeezing a store-bought dressing over your salad may seem innocent enough, but this can turn your healthy meal into something much too salty. Other condiments can be just as bad. BBQ sauce contains on average 0.56g salt per tablespoon – that’s over 10% of your maximum daily intake in one tiny serve!
#Salternative: Not all salad dressings and sauces are stacked with salt. You just have to read the label and find the best options. Use our handy label decoder to help you figure out how much salt is too much.
If these top 5 salty shockers have inspired you to unpack the salt in your life, check out our handy #salternative guides loaded with tips for spicing up your veggies and meats.