Harmful amounts of sodium can be found in unsalty foods such as breakfast cereal and bagels, according to Consumer Reports magazine.
The group's analysis of 37 food products found a cup of Kellogg's Raisin Bran contains 350 milligrams of sodium, a half-cup of one brand of low-fat cottage cheese had 360 mg, and a Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain White Bagel carried 440 mg.
U.S. dietary guidelines recommend that healthy adults get no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day and to control high blood pressure people should aim for 1,500 mg or less.
Most Americans get far more than that, and mostly not in salt sprinkled on food but instead in prepared products.
"Our analysis found that lower-fat products might be higher in sodium. That's in part because when fat is taken out of full-fat foods, sodium is sometimes used to compensate for flavor," Jamie Hirsh, associate health editor at Consumer Reports, said in a statement.
Besides sodium chloride — better known as table salt — sodium can be found in food additives such as disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, sodium caseinate, sodium benzoate, sodium bicarbonate and sodium nitrite.
Prego "Heart Smart Traditional" Italian Sauce contains 430 mg of salt in a half-cup serving, even if it is low in fat. "Heart Healthy" V8 vegetable juice has 480 mg in a serving, according to the report released on Monday.