salt shaker

Many people are probably unaware of how much sodium they actually take in each day, but may think that their sodium levels are quite low. However, here are some foods with surprisingly high levels of sodium that may surprise you. Be aware that the current RDA for sodium is 2400mg (equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt!). This is much lower at 1,500mg for some people with higher blood pressure.

1. Breakfast cereals

breakfast cereal

Most people know that breakfast cereals can be high in sugar, but many are probably unaware of high the sodium levels are. A serving of cereal can contain around 200-300mg sodium, but an actual recommended serving is not that much (perhaps around 30g in size). When I ate breakfast cereal, I would have a really big portion which probably wouldn’t be far off my daily allowance!

2. Bread

white bread

This surprises a lot of people but bread typically has around 100mg of sodium per slice, so a typical sandwich will have 200mg of sodium from the bread alone. This further increases for bread rolls, muffins and bagels.

3. Cottage cheese

cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is normal a staple part of most bodybuilders diets, and although it’s a great source of calcium and protein, a half cup serving contains about 450mg of sodium.

4. Soups

tinned soup

Probably less of a surprise, but soups can be very high in sodium especially when tinned. The amounts listed on the tin can be confusing as they tend to show nutritional information per 100g / 100ml. 100ml of some tinned soups can contain as much as 450mg of sodium, so a whole can (typically at 400ml) can contain 1,800mg sodium! This is nearly an entire daily allowance for the average person, and over the RDA for people with high blood pressure.

5. Tinned vegetables
Once tinned and stored in salt water, previously healthy vegetables can become quite high in sodium. For example, tinned carrots can contain 500mg of sodium per 225g tin!

6. Marinades

Marinades shouldn’t be a massive surprise, but the sodium levels for these can be a lot higher than you might expect. In particular, Japanese marinades such as Teriyaki can have 300mg of sodium per serving, and over 2000mg of sodium per 100ml! If you’re anything like me, you’re average serving size is likely to much bigger than the suggested serving size so you could be eating a lot of sodium.

7. Condiments

ketchup bowl

I found this to be the most shocking. In true “British” style, there are certain foods I like to have a lot of ketchup on. Fillet steak isn’t one of those (I’m not that bad!) but I do like a lot of ketchup with my omelettes and turkey bacon. I have a good dollop too, equivalent to perhaps 3-4 tablespoons. Tomato ketchup has 190mg of sodium per table spoon, so with my “healthy egg white omlette and turkey bacon” breakfast, I’m actually adding about 800mg of sodium from condiments alone! Scary stuff.

Hopefully you’ve found this post useful, and if there are any other foods that you think are surprisingly high in Sodium then please comment below.