The No. 1 Source of Salt in Your Diet May Surprise You

salt and pepperIf you had to name the biggest source of salt in the American diet, what would you say? Potato chips? Pretzels? Popcorn? Nope. How about processed or cured meats? Pizza? Soup? Fast-food burgers? No, no, no, and no again.

We Americans take in more sodium through one food source than any other, and I'm guessing it's totally not any of the foods you'd expect it to be. It's ... dinner rolls and other breads.

That's right, bread and rolls were No. 1 on a newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list of foods from which Americans take in the most sodium. Pretzels and chips and popcorn? They sit modestly at No. 10 on the list, bringing us less than half the amount of salt we take in from bread.


Too much sodium, as we all know, is a contributor to all sorts of health risks, including, notoriously, high blood pressure. So it's a good idea not to take in more than our bodies need. But honestly, who would have thought to point an accusing finger at humble old bread? Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing!

I mean, unless you're an Atkins or South Beach dieter who's already sworn off carbs or something, you probably don't think too much about the amount of bread you eat. Which turns out to be the problem. Experts think it's not necessarily that bread is super-salty, but that it might be the fact that we eat so much bread -- without thinking about its salt content -- that's to blame. So the next time someone puts a basket of dinner rolls in front of you, you might not want to dive in with such unbridled enthusiasm.

On the other hand, I have to wonder, does this mean we can eat all the pretzels we want? Sigh. Probably not.

What do you think about the CDC conclusion that bread and rolls are the top source of salt in the American diet?


Image via jking89/Flickr

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