Top 10 Sources of Sodium
More than 40% of the sodium we eat each day comes from only 10 types of food. Many people are surprised to learn which foods are on the list because the foods do not always taste salty.
Top Sources of Sodium
- Breads and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
- Pasta dishes*
- Meat dishes
*The category for pasta dishes does not include macaroni and cheese, which is a separate category.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day as part of a healthy eating pattern.
Knowing which foods are the biggest contributors to sodium in your diet is an important step in reducing daily sodium intake to a healthy level. To figure out the amount of sodium in a food, check the Nutrition Facts label, which lists sodium content per serving. Sodium content is listed in milligrams (mg).
Learn more about sources of sodium in your diet [PDF-913K].
Sodium Adds Up Quickly
Below is a sample diet of 3 meals and 3 small snacks, providing a total sodium content of more than 3,200 mg. That’s much higher than the levels recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25, and current manufacturers’ data. Values greater than 10 mg of sodium were rounded to the nearest 10 mg.
- Page last reviewed: February 29, 2016
- Page last updated: February 29, 2016
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