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List of High Salt Foods

by Amy Furay

About Amy Furay

Amy Furay has been writing since 1991. Her work has been published in scientific journals including "Alcohol" and "Endocrinology." Furay holds a Bachelor of Arts in biopsychology and cognitive science from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati.



Salt, or sodium, is part of many essential functions in the human body, such as controlling fluid balance. Therefore, maintaining appropriate sodium levels is important for normal functioning and the kidneys are responsible for this job. If the body takes in more sodium than the kidneys can efficiently process, blood levels rise and can lead to high blood pressure. According to MedlinePlus, adults should consume no more than 2.4 grams of sodium per day; this is equivalent to approximately 1 teaspoon of salt. There are many foods with high salt content and processed foods tend to contain higher levels of salt.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a condiment typically used in Asian cooking. It is made by heating, crushing and mixing soy beans and wheat, which are then mixed with a salt water brine and allowed to age for six or more months, according to Wan Ja Shan, makers of several types of soy sauces. Due to the processing method, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce contains 1,000 milligrams of salt, or almost half of the recommended daily intake.


Although it is a good source of protein and calcium, cottage cheese is also high in sodium. A 1-cup serving of 2 percent milkfat cottage cheese contains 746 milligrams of sodium. Cheddar cheese, a popular cheese used in many cuisines including Mexican and homestyle American, has a modest amount of sodium. In a 1-ounce serving, there is 176 milligrams of salt. Lowfat cheddar has the same amount of the mineral. Processed cheese products contain substantially more sodium per serving. Pasteurized American processed cheese has 452 milligrams of sodium per ounce.

Cured Meats

In general, processed foods will have higher levels of sodium than unprocessed. Bacon is a cured meat, which involves salting for preservation. Just 8 ounces of pan fried, cured bacon has 5,439 milligrams of sodium. Beef jerky is also salted as part of the drying and preserving process. The same amount of jerky has 4,661 milligrams of sodium. Cooked, smoked and then cured beef sausage has 2,533 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce serving.

Salad Dressing

A salad dressing made from scratch with oil and vinegar has only as much salt as is added to the recipe. However, when salad dressings are manufactured, the sodium content is much higher. For example, 1 tablespoon of commercially prepared ranch salad dressing has 164 milligrams of sodium, Italian has 150 milligrams and Ceaser has 174 milligrams. Even French and honey mustard dressings, which tend to be sweet, have approximately 140 milligrams per serving.

Tuna Fish

Canned tuna fish is a cheap and easily accessible form of protein. However, a 1-cup serving of drained tuna has 521 milligrams of sodium.

Photo Credits:

  • japanische sushi variation image by Lucky Dragon from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.