Q. How can I work out what’s the best cut-off figure for salt?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 07 August 2013.

Q.  How can I work out what’s the best cut-off figure for salt?

A.  To be classified as a low-salt (low sodium) food, the official cut-off figure is 120 milligrams sodium or less per 100 grams. This applies to all unsalted foods as it takes into account the small quantity of natural sodium present in foods.

But at this low level, it can be hard to produce good-tasting foods. So for breads, cereals, soups and cracker biscuits, anything below 400mg is considered acceptable. Some organisations are even more lenient and set their cut-off higher at 600mg or less to encourage manufacturers to gradually decrease what's being added.

Jatz crackers 665mg
Cheddar cheese 655mg
Potato crisps 640mg
Bread, white or wholemeal 570mg
French fries 340mg

Just so you can see how much you’ll save in sodium if you shop for low-salt products or make the switch from highly-salted processed foods, compare these two food examples:

Canned tuna in brine 415mg  
Canned tuna in water 82mg SAVING OF 333mg sodium
Ham 1480mg  
Pork steak, cooked 72mg SAVING OF 1408mg sodium
Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.