In our Growing Healthy Kids classes, kids learn to read food labels to look for hidden sodium and sugars. Salt used to be primarily used to preserve foods. Now it is used not only to flavor foods but to replace reduced fats or sugars. If you see something labeled “low fat” be suspicious that it may have a higher sodium content.
Most American children are not screened for hypertension. Pediatricians don’t commonly ask how often their young patients eat processed foods or fast foods. Kids who consume processed foods, meat, and dairy are at high risk for increased blood pressure. Cheese, for example, is extremely high in sodium. Most Americans consume about 30 pounds of cheese a year. A one inch cube of Cabot's Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese contains 180 mg of sodium. Foods you wouldn’t think of as having salt in them often have several hundred milligrams. One hot dog can have 500-600 mg of sodium. That is one-third of the daily limit for one person!
On the other hand, one cup of strawberries has about 1.5 mg of sodium.