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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Salty Snacks


What do you think is the largest source of sodium in the American diet? Chips and other salty snacks? You may be surprised.....

It is actually bread and cheese. Yeast breads account for over 10% of the sodium in our diets, followed by cheese, pork products, salad dressing and mayo, cakes/cookies/donuts, beef, milk, cold cuts, cereal, and condiments.

The average American eats 4,600 mg of sodium daily, nearly double to recommended maximum sodium intake of 2,300 mg. If you are interested in learning more about sodium recommendations and who really needs to watch their sodium, check out my previous post on sodium sensitivity.

I was surprised to find out that salty snacks actually do not have as much sodium in them as many other commonly eaten foods.
For example:
  • Lay's "lightly salted" potato chips only have 90 mg/oz and a glass of milk has 100 mg/cup
  • Tostitos tortilla chips have 120 mg/oz and a fruited yogurt has 140 mg/cup
  • SunChips original flavor have 120 mg/oz and a piece of bread has 130 mg/slice
  • Fritos corn chips have 160 mg/oz and corn flake cereal has 265 mg/cup
  • Doritos tortilla chips have 180 mg/oz and many wheat crackers have 225/oz
  • Cheetos have 290 mg/oz and a plain bagel has 380 mg/3 oz bagel
  • And the kicker.....cottage cheese has 460 mg/4 oz serving!

This is not to say go out and eat lots of chips, but just don't point the finger too quickly. Read labels of some of the commonly eaten foods in your diet and see how much sodium you are getting from them.

Here is another interesting tidbit of info:
One 10 oz bag of Tostitos Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips contains:
  • 6.5 ears of corn
  • 4.5 T. of corn oil
  • 0.5 t. of salt
Thanks for Frito Lay for providing some of these numbers.

Photo courtesy of jslander
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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