Food Sources High In Chloride

  • Ann Rose JosephDoctor of Pharmacy - PharmD , Acharya and BM Reddy college of Pharmacy, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Maha Ahmed MBBS, Internal Medicine and General Surgery, Cairo University, Egypt


The chloride ion of chlorine is found in the body. It exists as sodium chloride in extracellular fluid. It exists within cells as potassium chloride. Chloride ions have also been found in red blood cells. It is a key component of gastric juice. The free movement of chloride ions across the cell maintains osmotic pressure and acid-base equilibrium. It is easily absorbed and eliminated as needed by the body.1

Chloride is the second most prevalent electrolyte in serum, after sodium, and plays an important role in the management of body fluids, electrolyte balance, the preservation of electrical neutrality, acid-base status, and the assessment of many clinical diseases. Abnormal chloride levels alone usually indicate a more significant underlying metabolic problem, such as metabolic acidosis or alkalosis, when testing serum electrolytes. 

Chloride is a critical component of diagnostic tests in a wide range of clinical settings. Chloride levels in perspiration, serum, urine, and faeces can all be evaluated in these circumstances.2

Food sources high in chloride

Salty snacks

Salty snacks are often calorie-dense and can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. The combination of high sodium and high-calorie content can lead to overeating. Salty snacks typically provide little nutritional value beyond calories and sodium. They lack essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs for optimal health. Consuming salty snacks can trigger cravings for more salty foods, making it challenging to control your overall diet.

Dental Health: Salty snacks can contribute to dental problems, such as cavities and tooth decay, especially if they stick to teeth and aren't properly cleaned.

  • Potato chips: Around 490-550 mg of chloride
  • Pretzels: Roughly 450-500 mg of chloride
  • Salted nuts (e.g., peanuts, almonds): Approximately 200-350 mg chloride
  •  Cheese puffs/Cheese Balls: About 400-450 mg of chloride
  • Salted popcorn: Around 250-350 mg of chloride
  • Salted crackers: Roughly 400-450 mg of chloride

Additionally, consuming these snacks in moderation is recommended due to their high salt content, which can impact overall health and blood pressure.3 

Processed foods

  • Canned vegetables

Some foods, such as tomatoes, celery, olives, lettuce, and seaweed, naturally contain chloride. It's also present in many canned veggies as a result of the salt used to preserve them. Canned peas, for example, can have up to 510 milligrams of chloride per serving, but fresh peas contain only about 8 mg. Five canned olives in brine have 3,000 milligrams of chloride. In contrast, two dried figs contain 170 mg.

  • Processed meats (bacon, ham, sausages)

poultry is often chilled in a chlorine water tank to help disinfect it and limit the risk of salmonella. The chlorine gets washed off, so any traces should be minimal. Salted meats, cold cuts, hot dogs and other processed meats are among the highest sources of chloride in the diet. Ham, bacon, corned beef, organ meats, salami and sausages are also high in chloride.

  • Cheese and dairy products

Many dairy products include at least trace levels of chloride, but cheeses contain the highest. A serving of cheddar contains 1,060 milligrams, but the same amount of Camembert contains a whopping 2,320 milligrams.4


  • Seaweed and kelp

The chloride content in seaweed and kelp can vary based on the type of seaweed and its preparation. On average, seaweed and kelp are known to be good sources of chloride. Here are approximate chloride content values for some common types of seaweed and kelp:

  • Nori (Dried Seaweed Sheets): Around 80-150 mg of chloride per 100 grams
  • Kombu (Kelp): Approximately 150-250 mg of chloride per 100 grams
  • Wakame: Roughly 100-200 mg of chloride per 100 grams
  • Dulse: About 100-200 mg of chloride per 100 grams
  • Spirulina: Approximately 150-200 mg of chloride per 100 grams

While seaweed and kelp can be good sources of chloride and other minerals, they also offer various other nutritional benefits, including being rich in iodine, vitamins, and antioxidants.5

  • Fish (particularly canned fish with added salt)

Prawns, canned tuna, scallops, so-called salmon, raw oysters, mussels, lobster, crab, and cod all contain large quantities of chloride.4

Condiments and sauces

  • Soy sauce

Soy sauce, a traditional condiment originating from China, is extensively utilized across East Asia to enhance the flavour of various cooked dishes and to facilitate digestion. Fermented soybean paste, toasted grain, brine, and the mould  Aspergillus oryzae are used to make soy sauce. Sodium chloride at 16%-20% (w/v) is widely used to prevent microbiological contamination throughout the manufacturing process.6

  • Pickles and relishes

The chloride content in pickles and relishes can vary based on the specific recipe and brand. However, as pickles and relishes are often made with salt or brine solutions, they typically contain a significant amount of chloride. On average, the chloride content in pickles and relishes can range from 300 to 800 milligrams per 100 grams.7

  • Mustard and ketchup
    The chloride content in mustard and ketchup can vary slightly depending on the brand and recipe. However, on average, the chloride content in these condiments is relatively low. Here are approximate chloride content values for mustard and ketchup:
    • Mustard: Approximately 30-50 mg of chloride per 100 grams
    • Ketchup: Roughly 50-80 mg of chloride per 100 grams8
  • Table salt

The most common source of sodium is table salt, also known as sodium chloride (NaCl). It is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride and is frequently used as a flavour enhancer or preservative in processed and packaged goods.9

Balancing chloride intake

The maximum daily chloride intake is 3.1 g, which is about similar to a teaspoon of table salt. However, keep in mind that table salt is frequently added to many processed foods, making it easy for us to exceed the recommended quantities.5

Hyperchloremia, or excessive chloride levels in the blood, can be caused by extreme dehydration, diarrhoea, or metabolic issues in which the blood becomes overly acidic, such as kidney illness. A high salt diet can result in an excess of sodium chloride, which is linked to high blood pressure.10

Symptoms of toxicity

  • Muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue

For a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, chloride-rich  foods can be combined with other nutrients. Some of the examples are as follows:

  • Pair with hydrating foods

Since high chloride intake can contribute to dehydration, balance it with foods that have high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. These foods can help maintain proper hydration levels.

  • Include lean proteins

Combine chloride-rich foods with lean protein sources like poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and legumes. Protein helps with muscle repair and maintenance.

  • Add whole grains

Incorporate whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, and oats. These provide fibre  and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.

  • Include healthy fats

Integrate sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Healthy fats support heart health and nutrient absorption.

  • Balance with potassium

Chloride often accompanies sodium in salty foods. To balance sodium intake, increase potassium-rich foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and yoghurt. This can help regulate fluid balance and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

  • Incorporate calcium and magnesium

Include foods rich in calcium (dairy products, leafy greens) and magnesium (nuts, seeds, whole grains) to support bone health and muscle function.11


What is chloride and why is it important in our diet?

Chloride is an essential mineral that plays a key role in maintaining electrolyte balance, regulating fluid levels, and supporting proper nerve and muscle function in the body.2

Which foods are considered high in chloride?

Foods that are often high in chloride include salty snacks (potato chips, pretzels), processed foods (canned soups, processed meats), seafood (seaweed, canned fish), and condiments (soy sauce, pickles).4,5,6

How does excessive sodium intake relate to chloride-rich foods?

Many chloride-rich foods are also high in sodium. Excessive sodium intake can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, fluid retention, and increased risk of heart disease.9 

Are there health risks associated with consuming too much chloride?

While chloride is essential, consuming too much of it in the form of high-sodium foods can contribute to hypertension, fluid imbalance, kidney strain, and increased risk of stroke.10

How can I balance chloride intake in my diet?

To balance chloride intake, consume foods rich in other essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.


Chloride-rich foods play a crucial role in maintaining electrolyte balance and supporting various bodily functions. While chloride is essential, it's important to consume these foods in moderation and within the context of a balanced diet. Excessive sodium intake, often associated with chloride-rich foods, can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, fluid retention, and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Incorporating chloride-containing foods into a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich options is key. Be mindful of the sodium content in processed and salty foods, and balance chloride intake with other nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Hydration is also vital, as excessive chloride consumption can contribute to dehydration.


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  2. Berend K, van Hulsteijn LH, Gans ROB. Chloride: The queen of electrolytes? Eur J Intern Med [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2023 Aug 13];23(3):203–11. Available from:
  3. Determination of sodium and salt content in food samples [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 15]. Available from:
  4. Bruso J. Foods that contain chlorine [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2023 Aug 13]. Available from:
  5. Chloride: foods, functions, how much do you need & more [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 14]. Available from:
  6. Blandino A, Al-Aseeri ME, Pandiella SS, Cantero D, Webb C. Cereal-based fermented foods and beverages. Food Res Int [Internet]. 2003 [cited 2023 Aug 15];36(6):527–43. Available from:
  7. Zepp M. Crispy pickles [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 15]. Available from:
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  9. Chloride [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2022 [cited 2023 Aug 14]. Available from:
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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Ann Rose Joseph

Doctor of Pharmacy - PharmD , Acharya and BM Reddy college of Pharmacy, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Ann Rose is a PharmD intern , showcasing an unwavering passion for healthcare field. With comprehensive knowledge regarding the principles and operational techniques of pharmacy in Healthcare settings.Equipped with a strong background in medication evaluation and clinical management of multiple chronic disease states.

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