Nutrition is always a big source of controversy. There are always arguments for what is and is not good for you, what affects they have, the good and bad connotations they have… It changes constantly. One thing that is pretty consistently negative, though, is high salt foods, or just salt in general.

You need salt in your diet, like most of the things that get bad press, don’t get us wrong. Some foods in particular though are outstanding in their salt levels. They are notorious for it in fact, and they do awful things to your body if you get too much of them. We’ve put together our list of 10 types of food that are up there with the worst of them so that you know what you need to watch out for, and which foods you need to swerve from time to time.



One of the first foods that probably comes to mind is bacon. It is the definition of infamous for salty foods. It lasts a really long time, and you can taste it above all else. We're sad to say it since it's so popular with so many, but it is the truth. Bacon is one of the worst. We're sorry.


Close up of crisps

Another culprit that fits the bill almost instantly is crisps. They are just awful in terms of their sodium content. Pretty much every single type that you can get it up there with the worst of them. Even just 3-4 bags of crisps is enough to go over your daily recommended salt intake for a whole day. From such little volume of food (they really don’t weigh much) they are just awful for you. Make sure you miss them where you can, they are high in saturated fats too!


Close up of pizza

This one might not spring to mind straight away, and sadly, it's another super popular food. Pizza, especially with meat toppings, is an easy way for you to intake way too much salt. Usually, 1-2 slices are enough to push you over your daily limit! It's a lot to take in, but it is just as bad as the rest of them! Save it for the cheat meal if you really can't stay away!

Cured Meats

cured meats

Anything that is preserved without the use of freezing is likely high in salt. That's one of its main purposes. It's a preservative. Sadly, this means that dried meats are the next on our list. They have massively high salt levels no matter what form they come in, so you need to keep them to a limit. Sandwiches are bad enough for salt as it is without these getting involved.

Salad Dressing

Salad with dressing

This one is a real kicker. Salad dressing. Dressing for salad. Salad is healthy… It’s hard to grasp, but salad dressing pretty much on a general level is just awful for you. They are awfully high salt foods, as well as high fat, making the purpose of a salad pretty much redundant in most cases. Try to keep things natural where you can.



The pinnacle of high salt foods: Kicking things up a notch are the things that are literally covered in salt. They are the main taste of the food. Pretzels are one of the biggest hitters when you think of things that fall into the category, and they make you incredibly thirsty as a result. They are usually worse than things like crisps too, so make sure that you really only have them as a treat if you can’t cut them completely.


close up of nut bowl

Just like pretzels, nuts are terrible too. Not all nuts, we have to say, but anything that isn't organic or prepared in a healthy way. Salted and roasted peanuts, in particular, are the real killers. Most food that you can get at a bar is going to be bad for it as a general rule of thumb, so keep that in mind too.

Stock Cubes

stock cubes

Coming back out of the realm of notoriety, stock cubes are famously bad for their salt intake in the culinary world. They are full of sodium to make sure your food tastes how you want it to without having to know about it. Try to keep organic where you can, or even make your own stocks.


ham close up

Pork seems to be a recurring theme here, but ham is another one that needs to be put into the spotlight. It’s high in salt and high in fat, which means that it another food you should be cutting where you can. White meat is usually a good call too.

Soy Sauce

Picture of soy sauce

Finally, we’ll finish up with something a little different to the rest of our high salt foods. Whether you’re using it as an ingredient in your cooking, or as a sauce to the finished project, it is devilishly high in its sodium content. A lot of foods rely on it, but you need to make sure that you’re keeping it to a minimum!

Too much salt in your diet has a massive range of detrimental effects on your body. It does far more damage than you may realise in a number of cases if you have too much, so keep an eye on it. It's one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure, which in itself is lethal in some cases. Your health is dependent on your diet and your exercise. Make sure both are as good as they can be.

(Take a look at some of our healthy snack ideas as replacements)

For more information about salt in your diet, check out this NHS link too. 

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