Running into a convenience store for a quick on-the-road bite seems harmless enough. But if you have high blood pressure then chances are that snack, could come with consequences.
Some favorite snacks have enough sodium to make one’s blood pressure skyrocket. While you don’t have to ban them from your life entirely, just remember to eat them in moderation and enjoy healthier substitutes as well.
Slim Jim Original Beef Jerky
Slim Jim Original Jerky, 2.9 ounce bag
Serving Size: 1 ounce
Sodium Level: 420 milligrams per serving
Slim Jim’s can be a staple for folks on the road, but the sodium levels are high. Besides, these snacks are small, and it’s easy to eat an entire bag without thinking. That would mean taking in over 800 milligrams of sodium.
Next time look for low sodium beef jerky. A one ounce Vermont Smoke and Cure Gluten Free BBQ Beef jerky stick contains 280 milligrams of sodium.
Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
15.4 ounce Microwavable Bowl Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
Serving Size: 1 cup
Sodium Level: 890 milligrams per serving
This may have been the soup your mom made when you weren’t feeling well, but this deceptively yummy — and convenient — soup comes with 890 milligrams of sodium per cup.
Several brands offer low sodium options.
Barilla Italian Entress Meat Sauce Gemelli
Serving Size: 9 ounces (1 tray)
Sodium Level: 570 milligrams per serving
Most convenience stores usually have a selection of frozen dinners. The idea of buying one, popping it in the microwave and having dinner just a few minutes later is tempting, but they can be high in sodium.
Replace frozen dinners with a supply of ingredients for a quick meal instead, for when you’re just too tired to put a lot of thought into cooking. A quick qo-to is chicken and rice. Combine plain chicken tenders, brown rice and low sodium teriyaki sauce for a fast but tasty dinner.
Rold Gold Classic Tiny Twist Pretzels, 16 ounce bag
Serving Size: 1 ounce
Sodium Level: 450 milligrams per serving
Pretzels are as common at convenience stores as fuel. They’re delicious, but can also pack a powerful sodium punch.
The good news about peanuts and pretzels is that they almost always come in a low sodium option. Choose that when you need to satisfy the craving.
Here’s a bonus tip: Avoid adding salt to foods. This salt-sodium conversion chart by the Colorado State University Extension, shows how easily a couple quick dashes of salt can add up.
SaltSodium Equivalent1/4 teaspoon500 milligrams1/2 teaspoon1,000 milligrams3/4 teaspoon1,500 milligrams1 teaspoon2,000 milligrams.