Skip to main content
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo

How much sodium is in Australian foods

(June 2015)

FSANZ monitors the levels of sodium in the Australian food supply because it’s the sodium from salt in the diet that’s linked to major health problems.
 
We analysed sodium in monitoring programs in 2006 and 2008 and in 2009 in a range of packaged and take-away foods. In these surveys, the foods found to contain the highest levels of sodium per 100 g were: potato crisps, processed meat and meat products including sausages, meat pies, sausage rolls and chicken nuggets, cheese and pizza. Other high sodium foods include a range of sauces, spreads and condiments. These analysed values include sodium from salt, naturally occurring sodium and sodium from food additives.
 
The food industry has been reducing salt in various products to reduce sodium levels. Survey results show levels of sodium in some processed foods have declined in recent years. For example, sodium levels in margarine, savoury biscuits, soup and mayonnaise were lower compared to previous studies. Average sodium values for various foods tested in recent FSANZ programs are shown below. You can find more information on sodium levels in other foods in NUTTAB.

 

Food

Sodium

Serving size

Sodium

 

(mg per 100 g )

(g)

(mg per serve)

Breakfast cereal

480

30

(1 small bowl)

140

Butter

780

7

(1 foil packet)

55

Cheddar cheese

685

20

(1 slice)

140

Chicken breast*

43

160

(1 cooked)

70

Hamburger* (no cheese)

440

200

(1 large)

880

Milk (full fat)

36

258

(1 cup)

93

Pizza*, ham & pineapple

630

130

(1/4 large pizza)

820

Potato crisps (salt & vinegar flavour)

970

45

(small packet)

440

Potato crisps (other flavour)

620

45

(small packet)

280

White bread

456

30

(1 slice)

140

Yeast spread

2,960

6

(1 tsp)

180

*cooked

How can I reduce my sodium intake?

If you are concerned about your sodium intake you can check the Nutrition Information Panel on food labels for the total sodium concentration per 100 g of food and compare the labels of like foods to select those with low or reduced sodium amounts.
 
Some foods are labelled as ‘low salt’ foods. FSANZ defines a ‘low salt’ food as one with a sodium concentration of no more than 120 mg per 100 g. Other claims that help with choice of lower sodium foods include reduced salt/sodium, salt/sodium free, and no added salt/sodium. Reduced salt means the food must have a limited amount of sodium and have at least 25 per cent less salt/sodium than the comparative reference food. Sodium intake can also be reduced by adding less salt to food during and after cooking.

More information

How much sodium and salt are we eating - further information

Sodium in a range of packaged and take-away foods

Sodium and salt

Australian Government Food and Health Dialogue

NUTTAB

 

Print

Return to top