Foods rich in Sodium & Salt



List of Foods Rich in Sodium

Sodium is a mineral that helps nerves and muscles to function. With sodium you can have too much of a good thing, so don’t eat foods with a high sodium content. 

Sodium is an essential mineral which is present in the fluid around cells, in our blood and our bones. With potassium, it controls the water balance in our bodies, enabling cells to respond to stimuli and thus affecting the functioning of our nerves and muscles.


The RNI* for sodium for an average adult (not including pregnant or lactating women) is 1600mg per day.

Consult your doctor before increasing intake of minerals, or changing your diet in any way!

A List of Rich Sources of Sodium




Sodium Rich Foods List Milligrams Portion
Anchovies (canned) 4000mg 100g
Cockles (boiled) 3500mg 100g
Olives (brine) 2200mg 100g
Bacon Rashers 2000mg 100g
Salami 1800mg 100g
Smoked Salmon 1800mg 100g
Prawns (boiled) 1600mg 100g
Savoury Rice 1400mg 100g
1400mg 100g
Danish Blue 1200mg 100g
Black Pudding (fried) 1200mg 100g
Some Smoked Fish up to 1200mg 100g
Most processed foods / canned products up to 1000+ 100g
Processed Meats up to 1000+ 100g
Some Breakfast Cereals up to 1000mg 100g
Most other Cheeses up to 1000mg 100g
up to 800mg 100g
Pastries up to 600mg 100g

Generally all natural foods such as fruits and vegetables, are low in sodium. Whereas, all processed food products are often high in sodium, this is mainly due to the addition of salt as a preservative. Products like soy sauce, other sauces, powdered soups, marmite, gravy, mustard, oxo cubes and many pickled products are very high in sodium, however, they rarely contribute too much because they are usually eaten in small quantities!

What if you’re not getting sodium from rich foods?

Sodium deficiency is very rare indeed because we get more than we need from our diet. The few instances in which deficiency can arise are dehydration brought on by strenuous manual work in high temperatures and diarrhoea in babies. Some conditions such as meningitis, heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure may cause a low sodium level but this can be treated. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and inflammation of the kidneys, both of which can have life-threatening consequences. 

On average most people eat about half ounce, or 15 grams of salt a day: half from processed foods, a quarter from cooking or at the table and a quarter occurring naturally in food. In fact we only require one-tenth of that!

Salt, in excess, is bad for you. Use less in cooking; try alternatives for flavouring your food at the table; cut down on salty snack foods; reduce the amount of salted meat and fish that you eat; and use less tinned and packet soups.

Who Needs sodium?

We all need salt but we must ensure that our intake is moderate. It is particularly dangerous for babies.


RNI* = REFERENCE NUTRIENT INTAKE – a UK dietary reference value!

It means an amount of a nutrient that is enough for almost every individual, even someone who has high needs for the nutrient. This level of intake is, therefore, considerably higher than most people need. If individuals are consuming the RNI of a nutrient, they are most unlikely to be deficient in that nutrient. For more information on UK dietary reference values follow the next link:




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