Cottage cheese with fruit is an old lunchtime favorite, packed with protein and calcium. But if you’re aiming to lower your sodium, you might want to skip these creamy curds, as they’re actually high in sodium. Even low-fat cottage cheese can have about 400 mg of sodium per half-cup. For a tasty substitute, try Greek yogurt, instead. You’ll get more protein, calcium, vitamin D, and as a bonus, some good-for-your-gut probiotics. Most plain Greek yogurts weigh in at around 70 mg of sodium per half-cup. Greek yogurt can also be part of one these healthy high-protein breakfasts you’ll want to start eating.
Instant oatmeal is a popular option for the morning rush, especially in winter. Just add hot water and you have a warm and nutritious bowl of goodness, right? Not necessarily, says Paul Salter, RD, sports nutrition consultant in Flagstaff, AZ, for Renaissance Periodization. “Spend an extra couple of minutes each morning with a serving of old-fashioned oats rather than relying on instant oatmeal,” Salter says. Instant oatmeal can have as much as 200 mg per serving compared to plain oats, which can contain 0 mg of sodium. If plain oatmeal sounds blah, try topping it with berries, Greek yogurt, and cinnamon. Get more ideas for tasty oatmeal toppings you might never have thought to try.
Even after a heavy-duty sweat session at the gym, you probably don’t need a sports drink to replace your sodium stores. “Those beverages are created for athletes training at a high level for an extended period,” says Alysha Coughler, RD, a dietitian and personal trainer with Cardio-Go in Toronto, Ontario, CA. Water, coconut water, or maple water will quench your thirst and keep you within your daily sodium budget. Here are some surprising reasons you’re always thirsty. (Yes, eating foods high in sodium is one of them!)