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Rare Exceptions

A FEW FOODS ARE HIGH IN SALT IN THEIR NATURAL STATE

You can eat any natural (unsalted) food knowing it is low in salt, with these few exceptions:

1. SEAFOOD without backbones (marine molluscs and crustacea)

These are more primitive animals that absorb some of the salt in seawater even when they are alive. When freshly caught and rinsed in fresh water, the salt content is usually around 200–350 mg/100g. They are

  • Octopus, squid, scallops, mussels, oysters*

  • Lobsters, crayfish, prawns, shrimps, scampi

*Oysters are estuary feeders, very salty in Australia and not very salty in the US. The sodium in some Australian oysters can go above 900 mg/100g, but American oysters are usually grown upstream in much fresher water, and many are low salt foods (sodium under 120 mg/100g).

2. EGGS and KIDNEYS

Hen’s eggs at 133 mg/100g can be included in a meal of low salt foods where the egg is the only exception (it will be a low salt meal). Kidneys would need more dilution, as the Australian food tables show the sodium content of raw kidneys as 160, 190 and 200 mg/100g for beef, lamb and veal kidneys respectively.

3. THE BEET FAMILY

Silverbeet (called Swiss Chard outside Australia), beetroot (red beet) and sugarbeet are salt-tolerant plants with relatives that can grow in sand dunes. In your garden they will be low salt foods, but they can be grown commercially in places where the soil or irrigation water are too salty to grow anything else. In some districts samples of silverbeet have had a sodium content above 400 mg/100g. For a year or two during the 1990s Coles (Australian) supermarkets sold No Added Salt canned beetroot with sodium at 200 mg/100g.


Page last modified on: Tuesday 06 Nov, 2007

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