Sources of Sodium in U.S. Diets (Chart)

I attended the Food Technology and Innovation Forum this week and had the pleasure of listening to numerous great minds in the food industry. One of those great minds was Dr. Robert Post, Deputy Director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

His presentation spoke to food processors and what they can do to help guide consumers in the quagmire that is the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (You can download a full copy of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans here in pdf)

Something that never ceases to amaze me when I attend conferences that discuss the Dietary Guidelines is the data that the USDA and HHS found and reported when publishing the guidelines.  The chart below is from the official Guidelines document and shows the sources of sodium in the diets of the U.S. population. 




I'm still dumbfounded that my toasted oats contain sodium. Similarly, why do my sweet snack cakes require a sodium boost? It's all interesting food for thought for this non-food scientist. What ingredients have shocked you in your food ingredient explorations?