More on Salt

What is the Difference Between Salt and Sodium?

Sodium and salt are not exactly the same but are often used interchangeably when talking about high blood pressure and food. 90% of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt.

Which Foods are Highest in Sodium?

Processed Meats

  • Cold cuts
  • Bacon
  • Salami, pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Hot dogs


  • Salad dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Pickles
  • Some seasonings
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion salt
  • Cajun spice blends

General Foods

  • Soups
  • Bread and rolls
  • Cheese
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats
  • Pasta meal kits
  • Tomato or spaghetti sauce
  • Frozen meals (pizza, stir fry, TV dinners)

What Does it Mean When a Food Package Says "Low Sodium?"

There are very strict rules about what companies can say about the amount of sodium in a food. Here are the phrases you may see on the front of the label, and what they mean.

  • Sodium-free or salt-free: Each serving contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
  • Very low sodium: Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
  • Low sodium: Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
  • Reduced or less sodium: The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version.
  • Lite or light in sodium: The product contains at least 50 percent less sodium than the regular version.
  • Be sure to check the labels on "reduced" and "light" sodium products to see how much sodium is in a serving - it still could be quite a lot!
  • Unsalted or no salt added: No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. Some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium because some of the other ingredients may be high in sodium.

For More Information on Salt/Sodium

This information is provided by the Division of Prevention and Wellness within the Department of Public Health.