Sodium in fast foods and processed foodsSodium is widely used as a flavor enhancer and many restaurant meals, packaged and processed foods are full of it. Plus, salt helps process basic raw ingredients into other food products. Of these, cheese is perhaps one of the most familiar examples.
"Seventy-five percent of the sodium consumed is in processed foods," says Food and Drug Administration's Ellen Anderson, Ph.D., physical chemist in the Office of Food Labeling. "What the food industry includes during processing, we can't take out."
So how can we cut back on dietary salt? Limit your consumption of these high-sodium foods: Chinese foods (which often contain monosodium glutamate or MSG), soy sauce, salt-based condiments and preserved foods such as salted vegetables and sausages which often contain the high-sodium preservative sodium nitrites. When eating out, ask the chef to go easy on the salt -- most restaurant chefs will omit salt when requested.