As for sodium, it should be a lot higher on everyone's no-no list, according to Moores. You probably can guess the reason: Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. And the average American eats about 2,900-4,300 mg of sodium, or about 6-10 grams of salt, every day. The upper recommended DV is 2,400 mg a day. The otherwise healthy lentil-vegetable soup has 680 grams per serving, so about 1,360 grams for the can. Not good. “About 75 percent to 80 percent of the sodium we get in our diets each day comes from processed foods, not the salt we add ourselves,” says Moores. “You'll have more of an impact on your salt intake if you pay attention to the packaged foods you buy rather than just putting down the salt shaker.” Luckily, there's a low-sodium version of my chosen soup, which contains half the amount of the regular type.

Pamela Bond is a frequent contributor to Delicious Living.


Confused by label acronyms such as DV (daily value) and RDA (recommended dietary allowance)? For a complete explanation of these and other dietary acronyms, read "What are Daily Values?"