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Last Updated: Sep 19, 2016 04:39PM CEST

What is it?

It's an essential element that together with chloride, creates the household product salt. The maximum recommended amount of sodium is around 2,5 grams a day.


Why do we need it?

It's important for acid-base balance, and water and salt balance so that you don't get dehydrated. 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 as myocardial infarction, heart failures, strokes and kidney damage.


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)

  • cereal

  • sauces (salsa, pasta sauce, fish, soya)

  • vegetarian patties

  • shellfish

  • peanut butter, butters

  • grits

  • broths

  • processed meats (bacon, sausages, meatballs, beef jerky)

  • deli and lunch meats (prosciutto, soppressata, mortadella, capicola)

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