What is it?
It's an essential element that, together with chloride, makes household salt. Sodium and salt are often mistaken for being the same thing, which they are not. Sodium is a mineral that is one of the elements in salt. There are recommendations for both of them, the maximum recommended amount of sodium is around 2,5 grams and for salt the maximum recommended amount is 5 grams per day, this is equal to about 1 tsp.
Why do we need it?
It's important for acid-base balance, and water and salt balance which helps avoid dehydration. It's also vital for normal nerve function, absorption of glucose and some of the amino acids (protein).
What if I have too much?
Even though sodium is an essential element, eating too much can cause problems. High intake can cause high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of health issues, such as other cardiovascular diseases.
Foods to avoid:
Sodium can be found in almost all foods. Be careful with ‘hidden sodium’, a large amount can be found in seafood, pickled food and especially ready-made products. All items in the list contain more than 250 mg/100 grams food.
- cottage cheese
- oat bread/ bagel
- sardines, canned in tomato sauce
- macaroni & cheese
- fish sticks
- tortilla chips/ potato chips
- croissant with egg & cheese
- pickles/ canned vegetables
- fried chicken, burrito, nuggets
- cheese (Goat, Mozzarella, Cheddar)
- smoked fish
- ready meals (pie/ quiche, pizza, hamburger)
- sauces (salsa, pasta sauce, fish, soya)
- vegetarian patties
- peanut butter, butters
- processed meats (bacon, sausages, meatballs, beef jerky)
- deli and lunch meats (prosciutto, soppressata, mortadella, capicola)
To read more about sodium and see what we base our recommendations on, read more here: