31 Foods High in Sodium | Benefits & Side Effects
What are the Foods High in Sodium?
Which foods are Sodium Rich Foods?
Sodium is Beneficial in Smaller Quantities but Harmful in Larger Doses. Sodium in its prescribed quantities is for good digestion, blood circulation, necessary to facilitate body movement, prevents iodine deficiency, reduces the risk of diabetes, promotes good oral hygiene, and is essential for good respiratory health.
In larger quantities, salt can lead to some very serious consequences and lead to excess fluid retention, high blood pressure, increases the chance of stroke and damage the kidneys.
What is Sodium?
Sodium Chloride (NaCl) or most commonly known as Common Salt is an essential part of our diet. It is a white crystalline ionic compound that is formed due to the chemical reaction of Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) and the base Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). (1)
It is found naturally in the form of rock salt or halite and is a major constituent of salt water found in oceans and seas.
How much Sodium is Required by the Human Body?
Salt is essential for life and saltiness is one of the basic human flavors. It is used by all of us to season our food, preserve it and most importantly as a basic step involved in every recipe.
The daily recommended amount of sodium is 1,500 mg, which amounts to around 3.75 grams of salt. While salt constitutes only 40% of common salt, the amount of salt consumption can be around 3,400 mg to stay within the safe amounts of sodium per day in our body. (2)
31 Foods High in Sodium
Listed below are some foods that are high in sodium
Pizza makes a million mouths water! This traditional Italian dish has become a cult favorite and is daily consumed by many of us.
Sadly, this staple dish is very high in sodium and a standard 14” pizza slice (107 g) can contain up to 639.9 mg of sodium! An entire pizza weighing around 853 g contains around 5,100.09 mg of sodium.
The burger is the popular form of sandwich consisting of one or more slices of the ground meat patty, topped with pickled cucumber, sliced cheese in between two slices of bun. A full double patty burger contains around 496.8 mg of sodium.
The humble sandwich is consumed by many as a snack or a filling complete meal. It usually is sliced meat, vegetables, cheese or other condiments in between slices of bread.
A typical egg & cheese sandwich contains around 804.5 mg of sodium, while other classic combinations like grilled chicken sandwich contain around 982.1 mg of sodium and a fish sandwich contains a whopping 1,324.4 mg of sodium!
4. Yeast Bread
Bread is a staple food consumed by many people around the world in varied forms and the most common among them being the yeast bread. Just two slices of yeast bread contain around 375 mg of sodium.
5. Fried Snacks
Potato chips, mozzarella sticks, French fries and more are everyone’s favorite at a party! These tasty foods contain one of the highest levels of sodium with one bag of potato chips containing around 18.2 mg of sodium.
Chicken is the most common type of poultry meat consumed in the world. While uncooked & unseasoned meat contains a negligible amount of sodium, in its cooked form it is present in unhealthy levels.
A plain 85 g roasted chicken breast has 65 mg of sodium, while two pieces of 85 g fried chicken thighs can give you around 500 mg of sodium! Chicken Breast is also high in protein.
Rice is a commonly consumed grain all over the world. A cup (158 g) of white long-grained rice cooked without any extra salt contains around 1.6 mg of sodium, whereas salted cooked rice can contain very high amounts!
Here is an informative video from KMONIC
The egg is laid by the female counterparts of birds. The most commonly consumed eggs are those of the chicken, turkey, quail, and duck.
One large boiled chicken egg (50 g) contains around 62 mg sodium, one boiled quail egg contains around 12.7 mg and a fried chicken egg can contain around 95.2 mg of sodium. Though Eggs are high in sodium there are many Health Benefits of Eggs.
Biscuits are flour-based baked food items. A favorite accompaniment with tea or coffee, one small (14 g) biscuit can contain around 81.2 mg of sodium and 100 g can contain up to 580 mg of sodium.
Milk is produced by the mammary gland of mammals to feed their young. The most commonly consumed milk by humans is cow’s milk and a glass of cow’s milk contains around 104.9 mg of sodium. Milk is also very high in Calcium and Vitamin B12.
Cheese is known to be a comfort food and is produced from milk. This favorite food has one of the highest amounts of sodium. A slice (28 g) of cheddar cheese contains around 173.9 mg of sodium and a slice of processed American cheese contains around 467.9 mg of sodium!
The cake is everyone’s favorite sweet dessert! A slice of pound cake (28 g) contains around 119.4 mg of sodium, a slice of chocolate cake with frosting (95 g) contains around 299.3 mg of sodium and a piece of standard yellow cake with vanilla frosting (64 g) contains around 220.2 mg of sodium.
The salad is a cold dish containing a mixture of vegetables, meats and sometimes fruits. It is everyone’s favorite diet meal!
100 g of Coleslaw salad can contain up to 203 mg of sodium whereas a cup of mixed greens has 16 mg of sodium! Healthy Salad recipes may be sometimes high in sodium but are excellent for weight loss.
14. Cold Cuts
Cold cuts are pre-cooked and cured meats. They are also known as lunch meats, luncheons, and deli meats. A slice of lunch meat (28 g) has 362 mg of sodium, while a thicker slice weighing 57 g contains around 737 mg of sodium.
Breakfast cereal is made by processing grains, mostly corn. It is consumed by many as a breakfast food. A serving of cornflakes (28 g) contains 204.1 mg of sodium.
Pasta is a staple of Italian cuisine. It is cooked with various sauces and additions like meat, vegetables etc. A cup of plain cooked spaghetti (140 g) contains around 1.4 mg of sodium, while a cup of meatless pasta in cheese and tomato sauce contains around 436 mg of sodium.
17. Hot Dogs
Hot dogs, also commonly known as a frankfurter, wiener or sausage is a popular processed meat dish popular among many. One standard hot dog (52 g) contains 566.8 mg of sodium.
The humble and starchy tuber potato is consumed in varied forms. A medium potato (213 g) naturally contains around 12.8 mg of sodium and a large one (369 g) contains 22.1 mg of sodium.
A pancake is a form of flat cake made from an egg-based batter and cooked in a pan over a stove-top. A single 4” (38 g) pancake contains 166.8 mg of sodium and a larger 6” (77g) contains around 338 mg of sodium.
A taco is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a corn tortilla folded around a filling. A soft 98 g taco with cheese, chicken, and lettuce as a filling contains 600.7 mg of sodium.
A sausage is a cylindrical cured meat product made from ground meat. A 56.6 g sausage can contain anywhere between 379 to 688 mg of sodium, depending on the type of meat used and the amount seasoning.
A sardine is a small & oily fish from the family Clupeidae. It is usually salted and cured before consumption. Two small sardines canned in oil (24g) contains 121.2 mg of sodium. Sardines are also very high in vitamin D.
Soup is a hot, warm or in some case cold liquid food made with meat/vegetable broth as a base and stewed with vegetables, meats, sauces, and condiments.
Homemade soups generally contain less sodium than canned ones. A cup of canned chicken soup contains 940 mg sodium and a simple canned tomato soup contains around 880 mg of sodium.
Fish is consumed among those living in the coastlines. A 178 g fillet of cooked salmon contains around 108.6 mg of sodium while an 80 g piece of mackerel contains around 3,560 mg of sodium.
25. Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oil is a type of cooking fat obtained from seeds of plants. It contains very little to no sodium in it. Vegetable oils are also rich in healthy omega-3 rich foods.
26. Salted Nuts
Salted nuts while considered to be healthy by many, often contain high levels of sodium. 28 g of salted nuts contain 98 mg of sodium.
Olives are a favorite among many and are consumed after being pickled in a brine solution. A large black olive contains around 32 mg of sodium, while half a cup contains 735 mg of sodium.
28. French Fries
Loved by children and adults alike, a small serving (71 g) of French fries containing 149.1 mg of sodium.
Ketchup is a condiment made with tomatoes, herbs, and seasoning. Often enjoyed with snacks or added to burgers or sandwiches, ketchup is loved by many. 17 g of ketchup contains 154.2 mg of sodium.
Pickles are usually consumed as an addition to a meal or with sandwiches. Usually preserved in salt, a slice of pickled cucumber (7 g) contains around 84.6 mg of sodium.
Margarine is a plant-based alternative to butter. A tablespoon of butter has around 110 mg of sodium.
Side Effects of Sodium on Health
Excessive consumption of sodium can lead to many serious health complications like-
- Acute thirst
- Brain cell shrinkage
- Stroke and Cardiovascular Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Kidney Disease
High Sodium Foods Vs Low Sodium Foods
Sodium while an important electrolyte in our body and an essential nutrient, posses’ serious health complications when overly consumed, as stated above.
High sodium foods are usually processed foods like pickles, canned soups, processed cheese, potato chips and more. Low sodium foods provide the body with the right amount required for the healthy functioning of the body.
Healthy Alternatives to Sodium Rich Foods
Listed below are some Low Sodium Foods
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Cream Cheese
- Low sodium bread
- Unsalted nuts
- Lemon juice
- Low sodium crackers
- Plain taco shells
History of Salt
Humans have been processing salt for around 8,000 years, with ancient Romanians boiling spring water to extract it and evidence of salt works in China from around the same era. Salt was also processed by later civilizations like the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites, Egyptians, and the Indians.
Precautions while Consuming Sodium
Salt should be consumed sparingly and in precaution. Listed below are some precautions on consumption of sodium –
- Avoid processed, canned or tinned foods.
- Consume low sodium foods.
- Buy low sodium salt.
- Eat smaller portions of sodium-rich foods.
- Cook your own meals.
Salt is an important part of the diet, but like all other foods should be consumed sparingly and within the recommended amount for a healthier and happier you!