7 surprisingly salty foods

Salt can sneak up on you in some unexpected places. Make sure you’re on the look-out for these common culprits, says BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor.

1. Cheese and butter

Blue cheese, camembert, cheddar and parmesan cheese

Adding extras after cooking can not only add calories and saturated fat, but also salt. Avoid adding butter to ‘finish’ sauces or grated cheese to top your dishes and you will avoid the salt that can come with them – and help your waistline too.

2. Sauces

A mix of different salty sauces in small bowls

Soy sauce, fish sauce, and even ketchup can all add flavour to your dishes but are often high in salt, so you need to be sparing - and remember that you won’t need to add salt at the table as well.

3. Salty spreads


Spreading fats like margarine usually contain added salt - so read the nutritional information on the label to help you to choose the one with the least added salt. Savoury spreads can also be a salty choice. Be aware and use yeast extracts sparingly and check nutritional information on peanut butter and cream cheese.

4. Salty nibbles

Capers, anchovies and olives are all likely to add salt to food. Using non-salty flavourings is a better way to keep the taste up when you are cutting down on salt. Herbs, spices, lemon, garlic and black pepper are all good choices.

5. Bread

An olive loaf

As well as being added to the dough, watch out for extra salty additions. Loaves of bread and rolls that have an additional sprinkling of salt on the top or are studded with olives can easily be high in salt. Read the nutrition information before buying, as there's a lot of variation between different breads.

6. Potatoes

Jacket potato

Potato dishes are a common culprit too - watch out for jacket potatoes that have been rubbed with salt before baking, or pre-salted portions of chips or other potatoes, and of course, packets of crisps, which can all add to your daily salt intake.

7. Sweet surprises

Two salted caramel cupcakes

The trend for sweet and savoury flavours like salted caramel might taste delicious but it’s adding salt in places that were previously salt-free. Or were they? You might be surprised at the amount of salt in sweet foods like biscuits and cakes. Make sure you look at food labels 

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