Hidden Sodium, now revealed !!

3 min read

Doctor prescribed a low sodium diet… you readily but with a heavy heart cut down on salt in food, cut down on papads and also stopped eating your favorite Achar (😢)… But the BP doesn’t seem to come down what so ever! WHY??

Salt is 40% Sodium!
“Sodium! Especially the hidden one is the real culprit here!”

Sodium is a mineral found naturally in foods. It is a one of the two components that makes the table salt. Table salt is ~40%  pure Sodium!. It is needed by body for  maintaining it’s fluid balance, acid-base balance,  muscle functioning and also for proper functioning of vascular system. But too much sodium in the diet equates to elevated blood volume which increases BP and puts a lot of strain on the heart and kidneys! Which is why a low sodium/low salt diet is prescribed for heart and renal patients.

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pizza, burger, chips, cheese, pickles, salted nuts…

It is easy to jot down foods that are salty or high in sodium since they literally… umm…”taste salty!”

But there are foods that are high in sodium! Salt that you can’t necessarily taste, but it is there…

Here is a list of Foods containing Hidden Sodium!


MSG- Mono Sodium Glutamate!1. MSG– Monosodium Glutamate also commonly known as Ajinomoto. It is mainly found in Chinese foods, oriental sauces etc.

“It is what makes your favorite instant noodles so yummie and addictive!”



cooking soda has got sodium
2. Baking powder/ Baking Soda/ Cooking Soda – Sodium Bicarbonate, or baking soda is used in making of baked items like cakes, pasteries, breads, khari, toast. But thats not it, even traditional indian snacks like dhokla, pakodas, vada pav can have hidden cooking soda in them!




sodium in brine water

3. Brine(salt water)– Found in canned beans, canned vegetables, canned olives, canned meats and canned sea foods.





sodium in gelatin 4. Disodium phosphate – it is used as a preservative in quick cooking cereals, processed cheeses, pasta, gelatin etc.





sodium in ice cream5. Sodium alginate – used in many chocolate milks and ice creams for a smooth texture.






sodium in OJ6. Sodium benzoate – used as preservatives in pickles, sauces, salad dressings, orange juice etc.





sodium to stop mold growth7. Sodium propionate– used in pasteurized cheeses and in some breads and cakes to inhibit mold growth.






sodium as preservative8. Sodium sulphite – used to bleach certain fruits such as glazed or crystallized fruits; also used as a preservative in some dried fruits such as prunes, apricots, raisins etc.




9. Salt is also used to preserve certain food items like tamarind and raw mangoes.
10. Salt is used in many Indian farsans, chutneys, snacks, curry powders etc.
11. Sodium is also present in some medicines and toothpaste.

Therefore it becomes necessary for us to read food labels carefully. And even when choosing “Salt Free” options, carefully look at the labels and ingredients to make sure there is no hidden sodium in there!

Sometimes, these sodium food additives are listed in the form of a code instead of a name.

See 👆 E621 (MSG/Ajinomoto).

Here is a comprehensive list of commonly used sodium based food additives. This information might come in handy while next time shopping low-sodium!

Share this with all your loved ones that are on the Low-Sodium diet!

For any patient that is put on low sodium diet, us clinical dietitians recommend consumption of no more than 2000 mg Sodium OR 5 gram salt (1 teaspoon) throughout the day.

Well… as you can imagine, 1 teaspoon of salt is not much salt at all. The patients ends up hating the bland food and they stop following the diet altogether!

Reducing salt doesn’t have to mean reducing flavor !! herbs , spices and certain foods make for great salt substitutes.

spives are a great low sodium condiment options

To enhance flavour of food with less or no salt, one can use :

1. Lemon Juice
2. Garlic
3. Tamarind Pulp
4. Vinegar
5. Spring Onions
6. Tomato
7. Green Chilies
8. Basil.

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Here is a no salt recipe for you to try
Sesame Dip-

No Salt Sesame Dip1. Sesame Seeds: 60 grams
2. Green Chillies: ½
3. Water: 85 ml
4. Chopped ginger: 1 inch piece
5. Chopped garlic: 3-4 cloves
6. Fresh coriander can also be used
7. Lemon
Roast the sesame seeds and blended it to powder. Mix green chillies and lemon with sesame seeds powder. Now, grind it with water. Serve it fresh.


Hope you found this read helpful. To show your seal of approval, like, comment, share and stay tuned for more 🙂

Mubashira Chaiwala, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Mubashira Chaiwala, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Mubashira is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Dietitian with specialization in Clinical and more specifically Renal Nutrition. She also has a certification in nutrition and exercise for fitness. Having addressed issues like weight management, diabetes management, and lifestyle disorders, her health mantra is "encourage healthy eating and conscious well being for better living!"

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