Sodium Vs. Saturated Fat: Which is Worse?

Nutrition Diva explains how a diet with variety can be the answer to a nutrition question with no easy solution.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Sodium Vs. Saturated Fat: Which is Worse?


Q. Which is worse for one's health, saturated fat or excess salt? I am contemplating switching from meat to fish as my chief source of protein. But the fish that is both the most convenient and economical for me is tuna fish, which tends to be high in salt. I should mention that I have high blood pressure. If I had to make a choice between meat and tuna fish, which would be healthier for me?

A. That’s a little like asking whether it’s worse to drive without your seatbelt or ride your bike without a helmet.  We could analyze the relative risks of each—or you could simply decide to buckle your seatbelt when driving and don your helmet when biking. Likewise, you can choose low-sodium tuna fish (all the major brands produce one) and enjoy meat that’s relatively low in saturated fat, such as pork tenderloin, flank steak ground bison, or chicken breasts. Ta-daa!  (Non)problem solved!

There are several advantages to including more variety in your food choices and, fortunately, so many healthy foods to choose from!

See also:
Advantages of a Varied Diet
Healthiest Kind of Tuna
Chicken vs. Beef.

Tuna fish photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.