Sodium (Na) makes up half of typical table salt (chemical formula NaCl).
Sodium comes up all the time when it comes to health issues, because most people get too much of it. Few people suffer from a sodium deficiency.
Currently, research points to links between a high sodium intake and:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Cardiac damage
- Increased risk of stomach cancer
- Negative effect on calcium and bone metabolism.
That’s why the recommended amount of sodium per day comes with both a lower limit and an upper limit.
For adults, the upper limit is 2300 mg per day.
It’s really hard to exceed that if you’re only eating vegan whole foods.
But it becomes a lot easier when you start eating processed foods and adding a lot of table or sea salt to all your meals. It’s fine to have some, but you should pay attention to your intake.
Vegan Foods Highest in Sodium
I’ve collected the foods with the highest sodium per serving from the USDA’s food database.
|Food||Serving||Energy (kcal)||Sodium (mg)|
|Swiss chard||10 leafs||91||1022|
|Seaweed (dried)||1 tbsp||20||73|
|Sweet potato||1 potato||112||72|
|Water spinach||1 cup||11||63|
|White potato||1 large||255||59|
|Bok choy||1 cup||9||46|
|Lotus root||1 root||85||46|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||0.5 head||20||39|
|Brussels sprouts||1 cup||56||33|
|Chicory root||1 root||43||30|
|Lima beans||1 cup||209||29|
|Vital wheat gluten||100 g||370||29|
|Turnip greens||1 cup||18||22|
|Coconut meat||0.25 coconut||351||20|
None of them are particularly high in sodium other than swiss chard (although that’s a generous serving size).
This really illustrates that even if you only ate the vegan whole foods that are highest in sodium, it’s tough to go over the upper limit for a day.
If you’re looking to reduce your sodium intake, I’d recommend to do it by reducing any salt you add yourself and how many high sodium processed foods you eat.