Food with much salt


How to distinguish a food that is very rich in salt? How much is a lot of salt? On food labels, those that contain more than 1 gram of salt per 100 g are considered to have a lot of salt. If you read the labels of the products, it is possible to verify that all cookies, breakfast cereals, snacks, sausages, chips, canned goods, pizzas, pastries and precooked products exceed this amount of salt.

Composition of salt. How much sodium does salt have?

pinch of salt
A “pinch” of salt can be high in sodium. It is not recommended that people with hypertension routinely add salt to the plate

Table salt contains about 50% sodium and 50% chlorine. Taking into account that the daily sodium needs are 2,500 mg, 5 grams of salt (one teaspoon) contains 100% of the recommended daily amount of sodium.

How much salt should you eat?

One teaspoon of salt (5g) contains 100% of the daily sodium needs, therefore this amount should not be exceeded.

What foods have a lot of salt?

Although it may seem strange, salt is not abundant in unprocessed foods, such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, but also meat and fish are poor in salt.

That is, naturally, all foods are low in salt, and instead are very rich in potassium. The diet should maintain this mineral balance.

Sodium potassium balance of food

Our diet should maintain this natural balance and be richer in potassium than salt (e.g taking more aromatic herbs than salt).

The study of the physiology of the body and numerous experiments show that our body is designed to ingest a lot of potassium and little salt. Because the human body has lived for millennia with little salt, the body tends to retain it.

What foods are high in sodium (salt)?

  • Only kitchen salt itself, which is used for cooking, and foods to which salt has been added, have a lot of salt.
  • All natural, unprocessed foods contain very little salt.

What problems does eating too much salt cause?

Adding salt “to everything” makes you retain more fluids, worsen hypertension, and increase potassium requirements.

Main foods with a lot of salt

Knowing which foods contain a lot of salt is very interesting for those who have to follow a low sodium diet that is very suitable for certain diseases such as hypertension, fluid retention, obesity, kidney disease, osteoporosis, etc.

Examples of high-salt and low-salt labels are shown below to help the reader learn how to figure out these facts on their own from reading the labels. Remember that a food is considered to have a lot of salt when it has more than 1 gram of salt per 100g. of product and that only such amounts of salt are found in processed products (because salt is added to them):

Example label foods with a lot of salt

Examples of labels with a lot of salt. If when reading the label it contains more than 1 gram of salt per 100g, it means that it has a lot of salt. Examples of foods with a lot of salt: ham, sausages, snacks, chips…

Example label foods with little salt

Examples of labels with little salt, which are usually those that are not processed (raw materials), such as flour, oats, yogurts, milk, sugar… If when reading the label it contains less than 0.5 grams of salt per 100g, usually means that this product has no added salt.

List foods with a lot of salt

Knowing what foods contain much salt is very interesting for those people who have to follow a low sodium diet, adapted for certain diseases like hypertension, the renal retention of liquids, obesity, osteoporosis, etc.

FoodsAmountContent in salt
Foods for snacking
Chips100 g656 mgs
Pop corn100gr365 mgs
Salty hazelnuts100 g780 mgs
Salty pistachios100 g780 mgs
Salty almonds100 g780 mgs
Salty peanuts100 g400 mgs
Sunflower seeds100 g603 mgs
Cakes100 g600 mgs
Canned food
Sardines100 g280 mgs
Tuna100 g310 mgs
Canned tomato100 g420 mgs
Asparagus drained without rinsing100 g240 mgs
Chicken soup100 g386 mgs
Maize100 g335 mgs
Table salt1 spoonful of tea2300 mgs
Salt of garlic1 spoonful of tea2060 mgs
Sauce of soybean1 spoonful of tea1032 mgs
Bicarbonate of soybean1 spoonful of tea1260 mgs
Smoked, cured or processed meats
Sausage100 g1235 mgs
Sausages of turkey100 g878 mgs
Smoky salmon100 g784 mgs
Hamburger100 g561 mgs
Milk and derivatives
Cheddar cheese100 g620 mgs
Mozzarella100 g373 mgs
Hard goat cheese100 g346 mgs
Butter100 g286 mgs
Vegetal fatmargarine 40%100 g959 mgs
Kellogg Special K100 g935 mgs
Corn flakes100 g900 mgs
All-bran100 g112 mgs

How much salt is recommended to eat?

If one day more salt is taken, it must be compensated with more potassium, as this mineral is necessary to eliminate salt.

Potassium is very beneficial for the kidneys and is found in abundance in aromatic herbs, avocado, spinach and nuts (without salt and without frying).

How much is a lot of salt?

Taking into account that the daily needs for salt are 2,500mg (the equivalent of 5 grams of salt), foods that contain more than 1 gram of salt per 100g are considered to have a lot of salt.

Some brands express the amount of salt in sodium to decrease the number and make it appear that they contain less salt. If 1 gram of salt equals 0.5g of sodium, avoid foods with more than 0.5 grams of sodium per 100g.

In the supermarket, you should check the labels and avoid buying those products that contain such an amount of salt, since it is not recommended in any healthy diet.

Too much salt damages the kidneys

Excess salt must be eliminated by the kidneys. Studies show that in addition to being detrimental to hypertension, too much salt also increases the renal elimination of calcium, increasing the risk of kidney stones. In the long term, diets with a lot of salt damage bone health.

punto rojo More information on salt in foods

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 April, 2024

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