Foods rich in sodium

How aware are we of the importance of sodium (Na)? What role does this macronutrient play in supporting our health? Table salt is 40 percent sodium, which, unlike other salts, has a pronounced pleasant taste. The body needs Na as a substance that regulates water balance and blood pressure. In addition, it helps to ensure the normal functioning of muscles and nerves, is responsible for muscle contraction, the transmission of nerve impulses, maintains pH balance and fluid levels. However, excessive sodium intake is a risk of developing hypertension and other cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and may even be one of the factors provoking the development of stomach cancer.

Sodium requirements

A healthy adult needs approximately 1500 mg of sodium per day. The daily norm for children is about 1000 mg. Nutritionists do not recommend consuming more than 6 grams of a macronutrient per day, which equates to about 1 tablespoon of salt.

However, there are categories of people whose body requires an increase the generally accepted daily allowance of the substance. For example, athletes and people involved in heavy physical work, who regularly lose large stores of sodium through sweat. Also, a slight increase in the daily dose should be taken when taking diuretics, with diarrhea and vomiting, after severe burns and with Addison's disease (adrenal gland disease).

Human benefits

Sodium plays a key role in the human body. It is involved in enzymatic processes and muscle contraction, plays the role of an osmotic regulator and "controller" of water balance. The lack of this macronutrient leads to serious disorders in the body.

Main useful properties:

  1. Remedy for sunstroke. Prolonged exposure to the hot sun is always increased sweating, which means that the body loses a lot of water and salt. As a result, maintaining a stable body temperature becomes impossible, which is fraught with sun or heat stroke. The sodium in salt water can prevent or alleviate the effects of sunstroke.
  2. Prevention of muscle spasms. One of the causes of muscle cramps is electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, it is sodium that is responsible for hydration and muscle contraction. The easiest way to solve the problem of imbalance is to introduce sodium-rich foods into the diet.juices and liquids that contribute to the rapid restoration of electrolyte concentration.
  3. Gets rid of excess carbon dioxide. Sodium, obtained from food, will also help cleanse the body of excess carbon dioxide.
  4. Help for the brain. Na is responsible for the normal functioning of the brain, sodium imbalance causes dizziness, confusion and even lethargy.
  5. Promotes absorption. Sodium absorbed by the small intestine promotes the absorption of chlorides, amino acids, glucose and water. In addition, it helps the kidneys reabsorb these nutrients.
  6. Affects the heart. This macronutrient has an effect on blood pressure, which directly affects the condition of the heart. Excess provokes the development of hypertension.
  7. Adjusts the liquid level. Sodium is able to regulate the amount of extracellular fluid. It promotes intercellular exchange and transportation of useful elements throughout the body, chlorine also prevents excessive water loss.
  8. Maintains ionic balance. This cation maintains a balance between positively and negatively charged ions in the body. It promotes the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions.
  9. Anti-aging nutrient. Na is an indispensable component of many anti-aging cosmetic preparations, as it slows down the aging process, maintaining the youthfulness and elasticity of the epidermis. Used in moisturizers for sensitive skin.
  10. For dental health. Sodium chloride, or table salt, is a remedy that is very useful for teeth. It strengthens tooth enamel, eliminates unpleasant odors (due to antibacterial properties), and cleans the oral cavity.
  11. Antiseptic. Sodium chloride has found its use as an effective preservative and antiseptic. This ingredient is included in shampoos, shower gels, and oral care products. Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, also has antiseptic properties. But in addition, it is also a powerful acid neutralizer. In soap and shampoo, Na is also present in the form of sodium laureth sulfate, which has antimicrobial properties. However, its excess leads to drying of the skin, provokes the development of dermatitis and eczema.

Macronutrient in food

The most common dietary source of sodium is table salt. Other Na-suppliers include processed meats, canned food, vegetables, fish and seafood.

Sodium-rich foods also include:

  • baked goods;
  • sausages;
  • pizza;
  • poultry;
  • ​​
  • sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers;
  • cheese;
  • meat dishes;
  • salty snacks;
  • canned food.

Na in the daily diet

Fast food.

Relatively inexpensive fast food is the favorite food of busy people. But it should be borne in mind that most of the dishes on the menu contain a fairly high amount of sodium. For example, a fast food fish sandwich is about 882 milligrams of Na, a cheese and ham sandwich is over 1500 mg, a salted chicken dish is over 2000 mg, and an apple bun hides almost half a gram of Na. macronutrient. Or take, for example, a sandwich with cheese and meat. In it, bread “pulls” 400 mg of sodium, a couple of slices of turkey - 650 mg, a piece of cheese - 310 mg, 1 lettuce leaf - 2 mg, 1 teaspoon of mustard - 120 mg. Total - about one and a half grams of sodium.


The use of seasonings, sauces, and other additional ingredients can turn an ordinary side dish into an extremely high sodium dish. Most of this substance is found in ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, salad dressings. For example, just 1 tablespoon of soy sauce is almost half the daily sodium requirement (1029 mg). A tablespoon of ketchup contains 150 mg of the macronutrient, which is almost 10 percent of the minimum daily requirement.


In addition to being high in fat and sugar, some baked goods also contain significant amounts of sodium. For example, a typical donut contains more than 10 percent of the daily Na requirement. In a slice of some types of bread - from 120 to 210 mg of the mineral. Also, a high sodium content is found in different types of cookies, in muffins, and buns.

Canned food.

All canned food contains a significant amount of salt, which prevents food from spoiling quickly. A high concentration of sodium is present in pickled vegetables, canned beans, sauerkraut. A cup of canned corn, for example, contains almost 400 mg of Na. And this despite the fact that in a fresh or frozen vegetable there is no more than 10 mg of the substance. Or another example is a tomato. 1 medium-sized raw vegetable has approximately 6 mg of sodium, 100 grams of canned tomatoes without salt has 20 mg, and a regular salted tomato twist has 220 mg of Na per 100 g of product.

Meat products.

Smoked meats are one of the most sodium-rich food categories. Poultry meat, ham, salami and other types of sausages contain a high concentration of the macronutrient, which is part of seasonings, flavorings and marinades.


Processed cheeses contain the substance disodium phosphate, which increases the content ofsodium. There is a significant concentration of the substance in cheddar and parmesan. Only 30 grams of cheese of these varieties is almost 400 mg of the element. But cream cheese, swiss cheese and mozzarella are low Na foods.

Salty snacks.

Any salty snacks (nuts, chips, crackers) can provide a dose of sodium several times higher than the daily allowance. Nutritionists advise not to get carried away with products from this category, but to choose salt-free or low-salt foods as snacks.

Example of a menu of foods containing sodium


  • egg and cheese sandwich - 760 mg sodium;
  • a glass of orange juice - 5 mg;
  • a cup of coffee - 5 mg.



  • vegetable soup and sandwich - 1450 mg;
  • a cup of tea - 10 mg.


  • spaghetti without salt with meat sauce - 380 mg;
  • salad with dressing - 340 mg;
  • a glass of water - 10 mg.

Before bed:

  • a glass of milk - 100 mg;
  • 2 chocolate chip cookies - 70 mg.

Total: 3231 mg sodium.

Sodium Danger

Regular consumption of foods high in sodium can cause health problems. In addition, those who take corticosteroids, as well as those with kidney disease, are at risk for excess sodium intake. Stress is also one of the factors contributing to the retention of a substance in the body (under normal conditions, the macroelement is excreted in the urine).

Avoiding excessive sodium intake will help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and nephrological diseases.

To do this, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables. If it is canned or frozen foods, give preference to options without salt. Among identical products, choose those that contain less Na (indicated on the label). Accustom yourself to low-salt foods (over time, taste buds get used to unsalted foods).

Excess sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure, swelling of nerve tissue and the brain. If excess substances are not removed from the body in time, poisoning can result in coma. In addition, reducing the level of Na in the body will help to say goodbye to excess fat faster and easier. Also, the presence of excess sodium in the body can cause a deficiency of potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Sodium deficiency is as dangerous for humans as its excess. First of all, the lack of this macronutrient will affectnervous system, then can cause exhaustion of the body.

Possible signs of sodium deficiency:

  • diarrhea;
  • vomiting;
  • weight loss;
  • low blood pressure;
  • weakness;
  • dizziness;
  • lethargy.
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Sodium content of products
Product name (100 d) Amount of Na (mg)
Soy sauce 5500
Cheese 1600
Pickled olives 1550
Cheese ) 800
Sauerkraut 800
Seaweed 520
Rye bread 430
Green beans (green beans) 400
Sea crayfish 380
Chanterelles (mushrooms) 300
Mussels 290
Lobsters 280
Beets 260
Octopus 230
Flounder 200
Chicory 160
Anchovies 160
Shrimp 150
Sardine 140
Chicken egg 134
Crab 130
Celery (root)125
Crayfish 120
Squid 110
Sturgeon 100
Milk 120
Raisins 100
Veal 100
Spinach 85
Pork 80
Chicken 80
Beef 78
Mushrooms 70
Bananas 54
Rose hips(berries) 30
Cottage cheese 30
Tomatoes 20
Apples 8
Cabbage 4
Pears 3
Rice 2
  1. Pigarova E. A. Dzeranova LK: Sodium chloride in the genesis of arterial hypertension and obesity: debunked myths and prejudices.
  2. Paul Bragg, Patricia Bragg: The shocking truth about water and salt (compilation).