Low-Sodium Diet

A low-sodium (salt) diet may help lower blood pressure and prevent build-up of extra water in your body. This diet can help those with high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, or other conditions in which swelling or fluid retention can occur.  Even if you take a pill for blood pressure or a water pill (diuretic) to remove fluid, it is still important to have less salt in your diet.

Guidelines for Sodium Intake:

Current recommendations are to limit sodium from all sources to 1,500 mg per day, which is about 300 to 400 mg per meal and 100 to 200 mg per snack.
Your doctor or dietitian can tell you the specific limit that is right for you.
Keep in mind that adding just ¼ teaspoon of table salt to foods  – about a “pinch” – uses 600 mg of your daily sodium total.
Read labels (see example below) to know how much sodium is in your foods.  Remember to multiply the amount of sodium by the number of serving sizes you are eating.

Tips to lower your sodium intake:

*Use herbs, lemon, wine, and vinegar instead of salt to flavor foods

*Avoid processed/packaged foods, canned soups, frozen dinners, and entrees with gravies or sauces.

*Try fruits, unsalted nuts, veggie sticks, or other low-sodium snacks in place of high-salt snacks like potato chips, pretzels, or popcorn

*Limit/avoid fast foods that are high in sodium

*Use salt substitutes only on the advice of your physician. In certain medical conditions, these might be harmful

*Balance eating a higher sodium food by eating low-sodium foods for the next few meals and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables

*Look out for sources of sodium added to food in other forms, such as MSG, baking soda/powder, and preservatives such as sodium benzoate

 Low-Sodium Diet

Choose More Often
Low in Sodium
< 100 mg/serving
Choose Less Often
Med Sodium
100-300 mg/serving
Choose Less Often
High Sodium
> 300 mg/serving
Sauces &
Cinnamon, garlic,
curry, mint, lemon
juice, dill, onion,
parsley, basil, dry
mustard, paprika,
oregano, Tabasco
sauce, vinegar, etc.
BBQ sauce, catsup,
chili sauce, salsa,
gravies, mustard
mayonnaise, tomato
sauce, bottled salad
Salt, MSG., salted
condiments like:
salt, marinades, teriyaki
sauce, Worcestershire
GrainsFlour, rice, pasta
noodles, whole
grains, matzo, hot
cereals (not instant),
unsalted popcorn,
Shredded Wheat
Breads and rolls, most
-to-eat cereals,
biscuits, muffins,
cakes, pies, cookies,
pastries, pancakes,
waffles, etc.
Commercially prepa
spaghetti with sauce,
instant hot cereals,
pretzels, crackers, salted
popcorn, chips and other
snack foods
& Fruits
Fresh, frozen and
canned fruits, fresh
and plain frozen
vegetables (not
types with sauces or
Canned vegetables,
frozen lima beans,
frozen peas
Pickled vegetables, olives,
pickles, sauerkraut,
vegetables with seasoned
beverages, coffee,
tea, most mineral
Milk, buttermilkTomato juice, vegetable
Fish, Poultry,
Meat and
Other Dishes
Fresh meat w/o salt
such as beef & veal,
lamb, poultry, pork,
eggs, unsalted nuts
and peanut butter,
tofu, green
Fresh shellfish, salted
peanut butter
Bacon, ham, corned beef,
luncheon meats, sausages,
salami, processed turkey,
frozen, rest
aurant or
prepackaged entrees,
canned/packaged soups,
salted nuts
Cream cheese,
ricotta or Swiss
cheese, unsalted
butter or margarine
Milk, buttermilk, salted
butter or margarine,
ice cream, pudding
Most cheeses, such as
blue, cottage, parmesan,

This entry was posted in Diets.