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Sodium is needed for

  • regulating the body's fluid balance (works with potassium and chloride)
  • nerve and muscle activity

High intake of sodium can lead to:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease

Excess sodium in the diet is linked with fluid retention and kidney stones.

Sodium deficiency is not common. It may happen during heavy or prolonged exercise because sodium is loss in the sweat. Below are a few signs of sodium deficiency:

  • cramps
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • thirst

Most of us consume far more sodium than we need. A half stock cube and 15ml soy sauce in your dish could take you up to your daily limit. People who like to cut down their salt intake should limit the amount of processed foods they eat.

Good Sources of Sodium

Food / 100g Amount (mg)
Salt 39300
Chicken stock cubes 16300
Soy sauce 7120
Oily chilli pickle 4050
Tomato soup 3100
Black bean sauce 2150
Parma ham 2000
Smoke salmon 1880
Salami 1800
Tomato ketchup 1630
Cooked prawn 1590

m = 0.001

Recommended Intakes for Adults:

UK Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNI) - 517mg-1600mg

USA Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) - <2300 mg