According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 77 percent of the sodium in Americans' diets comes from the food we eat. Although many Americans have taken steps to stop adding extra salt to their foods, we are still consuming foods with high levels of sodium. The AHA recommends that adults get no more than 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day. Luckily, there are a number of foods that are sodium-free and taste just as good.
Although it may sound suspicious, ketchup can be a sodium-free food. Note that the majority of ketchup does indeed contain sodium, sometimes in high amounts. But there are varieties of ketchup on the grocery store shelves which are sodium-free, instead containing sodium-chloride. Note that the ketchup may taste slightly sweeter than you're used to without the salt, but that salt-free varieties do not contain any more calories than the salt-added version.
While all naturally-growing vegetables are sodium-free, shoppers must be vigilant when approaching the frozen food aisles. To attract more consumers, frozen vegetables are often packaged with sauces high in sodium. They're marketed as flavoring, but natural frozen and raw vegetables can be easily and more healthily flavored without salt. Instead of falling into the salt trap, purchase raw vegetables at the grocery store such as broccoli, which offers vitamin C, fiber, potassium and folic acid. Broccoli is also available in frozen packages too; just avoid the ones with added sodium and sauces.
Another healthy, sodium-free food that sometimes can trip up shoppers with heavy salt additives is chicken. Chicken, which is a high source of protein, is low fat and can protect against bone loss, is available in a number of different varieties, some sodium-free, some not. Buying a pre-packaged frozen bird or cuts of breast meat and thighs are a safe bet to be salt-free. The chicken is in an unadultered state. When you cook it, you can add sodium-free seasonings and sauces while remaining healthy. The area of the grocery store where people often get confused by the chicken's sodium content is in the pre-packaged deli cases. Chicken here, whether it is sliced for sandwiches or cut into cubes for salads, often has quite a bit of sodium (sometimes half the day's content) added to it for flavoring. Although manufacturers are producing lower sodium varieties, the content levels are still much higher than plain, frozen chicken.