- Eliminate salty foods from your diet and reduce the amount of salt used in cooking. Sea salt is no better than regular salt.
- Choose low sodium foods. Many salt-free or reduced salt products are available. When reading food labels, low sodium is defined as 140 mg of sodium per serving.
- Salt substitutes are sometimes made from potassium, so read the label. If you are on a low potassium diet, then check with your doctor before using those salt substitutes.
- Be creative and season your foods with spices, herbs, lemon, garlic, ginger, vinegar and pepper. Remove the salt shaker from the table.
- Read ingredient labels to identify foods high in sodium. Items with 400 mg or more of sodium are high in sodium. High sodium food additives include salt, brine, or other items that say sodium, such as monosodium glutamate.
- Eat more home-cooked meals. Foods cooked from scratch are naturally lower in sodium than most instant and boxed mixes.
- Don’t use softened water for cooking and drinking since it contains added salt.
- Avoid medications which contain sodium such as Alka Seltzer and Bromo Seltzer.
- For more information; food composition books are available which tell how much sodium is in food. Online sources such as www.calorieking.com also list amounts.
Meats, Poultry, Fish, Legumes, Eggs and Nuts
- Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies
- Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza
- Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili
- Salted nuts
- Beans canned with salt added
- Any fresh or frozen beef, lamb, pork, poultry and fish
- Eggs and egg substitutes
- Low-sodium peanut butter
- Dry peas and beans (not canned)
- Low-sodium canned fish
- Drained, water or oil packed canned fish or poultry
- Regular and processed cheese, cheese spreads and sauces
- Cottage cheese
- Milk, yogurt, ice cream and ice milk
- Low-sodium cheeses, cream cheese, ricotta cheese and mozzarella
Breads, Grains and Cereals
- Bread and rolls with salted tops
- Quick breads, self-rising flour, biscuit, pancake and waffle mixes
- Pizza, croutons and salted crackers
- Prepackaged, processed mixes for potatoes, rice, pasta and stuffing
- Breads, bagels and rolls without salted tops
- Muffins and most ready-to-eat cereals
- All rice and pasta, but do not to add salt when cooking
- Corn and flour tortillas and noodles
- Low-sodium crackers and breadsticks
- Unsalted popcorn, chips and pretzels
Vegetables and Fruits
- Regular canned vegetables and vegetable juices
- Olives, pickles, sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables
- Vegetables made with ham, bacon or salted pork
- Packaged mixes, such as scalloped or au gratin potatoes, frozen hash browns and Tater Tots
- Commercially prepared pasta and tomato sauces and salsa
- Fresh and frozen vegetables without sauces
- Low-sodium canned vegetables, sauces and juices
- Fresh potatoes, frozen French fries and instant mashed potatoes
- Low-salt tomato or V-8 juice.
- Most fresh, frozen and canned fruit
- Dried fruits
- Regular canned and dehydrated soup, broth and bouillon
- Cup of noodles and seasoned ramen mixes
- Low-sodium canned and dehydrated soups, broth and bouillon
- Homemade soups without added salt
Fats, Desserts and Sweets
- Soy sauce, seasoning salt, other sauces and marinades
- Bottled salad dressings, regular salad dressing with bacon bits
- Salted butter or margarine
- Instant pudding and cake
- Large portions of ketchup, mustard
- Vinegar, unsalted butter or margarine
- Vegetable oils and low sodium sauces and salad dressings
- All desserts made without salt