Choose Chicken, not Ham
How's this for sodium sticker-shock? Deli ham (and we're not talking the whole package here, just what you'd put between two slices of bread) contains more than 500 milligrams sodium. A slice of oven-roasted, fat-free chicken breast will add more than 600 milligrams sodium to your meal.
In general, though, chicken is a safer low-sodium bet than ham. Ounce for ounce, ham is much saltier. It's the preparation that gives salt-cured ham more than twice the sodium of its once-feathered counterpart.
Even if you reach for poultry products in the grocery aisle, you still need to be vigilant. Four ounces of fresh chicken or turkey has just 50 milligrams sodium, compared to the triple-digit sodium in a seasoned turkey roast you may pluck out of the freezer case: Just one serving wields a whopping 760 milligrams. You can get the same entrée, in a low-sodium version, by buying unseasoned fresh turkey and adding no-sodium seasonings and herbs while roasting.
And, buying fresh poultry that isn't shaped into sandwich-sized slices doesn't mean you'll avoid sodium. Watch the labels. Some raw poultry has been injected with saltwater; these additives can contribute as few as 119 milligrams to more than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Even the most dedicated label-reader may run aground when it comes to seafood, though. Which creatures of the sea need a sodium warning label? It's all on the next page.