The Sodium Content of Foods

Most processed foods will be higher in sodium than their raw counterparts because of the role sodium plays in processing and preserving. In general, aside from fresh fruits and vegetables, the more “convenient” a food is to eat, the higher the sodium content. Frozen prepared meals are high in sodium. Fast foods are even more sodium-filled. It is a good idea to take note of any nutritional information available at places you often eat. You may be quite surprised at the eye-popping levels of sodium served up daily. Snack foods like potato chips, crackers, nuts, popcorn and pretzels lead the pack in sodium content.

Here are some examples of the sodium content of different foods:


Food portion Sodium (mg)
Apple juice 1 cup 7
Banana 1 banana 1
Egg Bagel 4” bagel 449
Canned beef stew 1 cup 947
Raw blueberries 1 cup 1
Lemon-lime soda 12 fluid oz. 40
catsup 1 Tablespoon 167
Cheddar chees 1 ounce 176
Hard-boiled egg 1 large 62
McDonald’s Quarterpounder w/cheese 1 burger 1190
honey 1 Tablespoon 1
Vanilla ice cream ½ cup 53
Lemon juice From 1 lemon 0
1% low-fat milk 1 cup 107
almonds 1 ounce 0
Raw onion 1 whole 3
papaya 1 cup 4
Dill pickle 1 pickle 833
Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza 1 slice medium pan 590
raisins 1 cup 16

For more information, click here for the sodium content of foods.

The average consumer can reduce his or her sodium consumption by 30 percent by doing a few simple things. You can stop salting your food. You can reduce the amount of salt used when cooking. When cooking in our house, we don’t include salt even if it’s calls for in recipes. We have not noticed a difference in taste or satisfaction. This includes our kids who are very picky eaters. Avoid high sodium foods. If you are crazy about pizza (which has a high sodium content) and cannot live without it, eat it less frequently and eat fewer slices. Eat pizza for dinner but plan ahead and go sodium free at breakfast and lunch that day.

Despite all attempts in our house to create a good tasting low sodium pizza, we have repeatedly failed. We have accepted the fact that pizza is a salty food and we try to eat less of it overall. You will find that when you do reduce the consumption of a favorite food, you appreciate it even more when the occasion comes to eat it.


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