5. Spicy Chicken Tenders
One order (three pieces) of spicy chicken tenders from a fast-food chain or restaurant can add more than 2,100 milligrams of sodium.
Change to: Make your own spicy chicken fingers at home. Use spicy seasoning blends that don't include salt to flavor to your breading. If you add salt, use as little as possible (1/2 teaspoon salt for 2 or more servings of chicken fingers).
6. Tortilla Chips
Most tortilla chips are dusted with salt, totaling at least 250 milligrams of sodium per 2-ounce serving.
Change to: Make oven-baked tortilla chips at home. Here's how:
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat a nonstick jelly roll pan with canola cooking spray. Cut corn tortillas into wedges (8 wedges from one tortilla). Brush the tortilla wedges lightly with canola oil. Sprinkle a controlled amount of seasoned salt (1/4 teaspoon adds 450 milligrams sodium) over the top. Bake until crispy, checking them after 15 minutes.
7. Bottled Salad Dressing
Bottled salad dressings can have as much as 400 milligrams of sodium per 2-tablespoon serving, depending on the flavor and brand of the dressing.
Change to: Find lower-sodium options for the salad dressing flavors you like. If there is a creamy dressing you like that is higher in sodium, dilute it a bit by adding 2 tablespoons of fat-free half-and-half, low-fat milk, or water, to 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing. Or make your salad dressings from scratch.
8. Lunch Meats
Processed meats have salt and sodium for shelf life (or food preservation) and taste.
Packaged lunch meats, even when they look like they have just been carved, contain about 560 milligrams of sodium or more per 2-ounce serving.
Change to: Choose fresh meats like roast beef or pork tenderloin, roasted or grilled chicken, or turkey. They won’t last quite as long in your refrigerator, so just buy or make what you will need in the next 2 days.
You can also freeze individual servings of these meats for later use. Two ounces of roasted turkey without skin have about 40 milligrams of sodium, and 2 ounces of bottom round roast beef adds about 26 milligrams.