Hover on the below shapes to discover some examples of where salt might be hiding. Remember, if you eat these foods often, or have combinations of them in one day then your salt intake can really add up!
In fact, on average, white breads contain about 0.76g of salt in just two slices – that’s 15% of your daily maximum allowance. And that’s before you add the salty spreads and fillings! Adding things like butter, vegemite, ham or cheese can mean one simple sandwich eats up half your daily maximum salt intake. And remember, we are not just talking about bread here – wraps, crumpets, rolls, bagels and English muffins are all included in this salt shocker category.
Breads, rolls, and wraps are important parts of a healthy diet – so the key here is to look for products with less salt. Luckily, some manufacturers have started to reformulate and reduce the amount of salt in their products. So check the label and try to find one that has less than 400mg of sodium/100g (1g of salt).
One serve of Napoli sauce (jar) contains on average 300mg of sodium (0.75g salt) – that’s 15% of your maximum daily salt intake – and that’s for an adult. If your kids are eating the same meal then it’s going to take up even more of their daily maximum!
Use simple ingredients like tomatoes, vegetables, and herbs and spices to create delicious and low salt versions of supermarket products. When you make your own sauce, you are in control of exactly how much salt goes into the pot! Check out our low salt tomato based pasta sauce recipe.
A frozen lasagne can contain 968mg sodium (2.42g salt) – that’s nearly half of your maximum daily allowance!
While these meals may seem convenient, making your own is definitely worth the extra effort. Spend an hour or two making a big lasagne when you have some free time, then freeze portions for later. Then when you’re running low on time all you have to do is whip it out and bang it in the microwave for a few minutes – easy! If you really do need to buy a ready-made meal, look for one that has less salt, and try to choose one that has as many veggies as possible.
In fact, one serve of bacon contains 588mg of sodium (1.47 g salt) – that’s nearly a third of your maximum daily intake, and let’s be honest – who only has one serve of bacon? Even lunchbox staples like ham and salami are full of salt.
Processed meats are not a staple part of a healthy diet and contain saturated fat as well as salt. Try to avoid them as much as you can. If you are looking for a sandwich filler, why not try chicken or turkey breast? Instead of sausages on the BBQ, try homemade beef or veggie patties. If a cooked breakfast on the weekend is a staple for your family – try experimenting with new sides like smashed avocado, field mushrooms or spinach.
On average, dip can contain 143mg sodium (0.36g salt) per 30g serve – that’s about 7% of your daily maximum intake. Most people consume way more than one serving of dip in a sitting, so that 7% could easily turn into 20% or even 30%! And don’t forget about the crackers. Crispbreads may be small, but they pack a big salt punch! Crackers contain on average 72mg sodium (0.18g salt) per 10g serving – again, who eats just 10g of crackers? Add the dip and the crackers and you end up with a very salty snack.
Look out for dips that are lower in salt – check the label to compare a few choices. Have a go at making your own dips. Salsas, tzatziki and avocado dips can be made with no salt and just a few ingredients. When it comes to crackers, try replacing with vegetable sticks – think carrot, cucumber or celery.
Other condiments can be just as bad. BBQ sauce contains on average 223mg of sodium (0.56g salt) per tablespoon – that’s over 10% of your maximum daily intake in one tiny serve! These products can sometimes taste sweet, but don’t let your taste buds fool you.
Use our handy label decoder to help you know how much salt is too much.
A small frozen pizza has on average 1497mg sodium (3.74g salt) – that is three quarters (75%) of your recommended maximum intake! Scary stuff.
It is unlikely you will ever find a low salt frozen pizza in the supermarket, so get the kids involved and make your own! Use a low salt wrap as the base, and then load up with veggies – think roast pumpkin, capsicum and eggplant. Top with rocket for a fresh and delicious taste. Remember to watch out for the tomato base – look at the labels and choose the lowest salt option.
So it’s not surprising that cheese is one of the biggest contributors to the salt intake of Victorians. Some of the saltiest cheeses are halloumi and feta, but even everyday varieties like cheddar can be packed with salt. Two slices of hard cheese contains 390mg sodium (0.98g salt) – that’s 20% of your maximum daily allowance!
Cheese is an important part of a healthy diet, as it contains calcium, protein and vitamins and minerals needed for health. There are salt reduced cheeses on the market, so try and choose those options. Also keep in mind that the salt content of different types of cheeses varies. Swiss cheese tends to have less salt than other types.
You might be worrying about the sugar content of doughnuts, muffins, and pancakes without even realising that your taste buds are tricking you when it comes to the salt content! Prepare to be shocked – a sweet muffin contains on average 288mg sodium (0.72g salt). That’s more than double the sodium in a fun size/lunchbox size/single serve pack of potato chips!
These baked goods are not only loaded with salt, but they also contain sugar, saturated fat and excess kilojoules. The best thing to do is avoid these as much as possible. A treat every now and again is absolutely fine, but try making your own healthier versions so you can control exactly how much salt (and sugar!) you add.
They’re loved by many, but did you know they’re also stacked with salt? One serve of canned soup contains an average of 560mg of sodium (1.4g salt) – that’s over a quarter (28%) of your maximum daily intake!
For some of these products you might be able to find a reduced salt version, especially with products like baked beans. Check the labels for ‘low salt’ ‘no added salt’ or ‘salt reduced’ and pick these options. Otherwise why not try one of our quick and easy recipe ideas instead.