My Doctor Says I Have to watch my Sodium Intake.

Why Limit Sodium?
· Help prevent or reduce high blood pressure, which can…
· Reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke

Where’s the Sodium?
· Processed, convenience foods
· Salt added during food preparation
· Salt added at the table

· Limit total sodium intake to 2400 milligrams (mg) per day, or about 1 teaspoon of table salt (sodium chloride).
· Your doctor may recommend a lower goal if you have high blood pressure.

At the Store:
· Check out the labels for lower sodium foods:
o Sodium free
o Low sodium
o Very low sodium
o Light in sodium
o Reduced (or less) sodium
o Unsalted
· Be wary of these foods:
o Breaded fish, poultry and meats
o Most cheeses, including cottage cheese and cheese spreads
o Instant hot cereals and many ready-to-eat cereals
o Boxed and flavored mixes of rice, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, instant noodles, couscous
o Canned vegetables
o Frozen vegetables in sauces
o Soups – instant, canned & jarred, including broth and bouillon
o Seasonings made with salt, celery salt, garlic salt, onion salt
o Sauces, gravies and instant sauce and gravy mixes
o Canned seafood – tuna, sardines, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, oysters, caviar, crab
o Snack foods – chips, crackers, salted nuts, pork rinds, pretzels
o Pickled foods like olives, pickles, relish, sauerkraut, herring
o Condiments – ketchup, soy sauce, steak sauce, teriyaki sauce, salad dressings, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce
o Frozen dinners, meal mixes, pot pies, and pizza
o Smoked, salted or cured meats such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, bologna, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats, sausage, corned beef, chipped beef; meats koshered by salting
o Buttermilk, butter, salt pork
· Select these foods more often:
o Vegetable oils
o Fresh or frozen fruits
o Fresh, frozen (no sauce) or no salt added canned vegetables
o Skinless poultry, lean cuts of meat, fresh or frozen (not breaded) fish and shellfish
o Plain rice, noodles, couscous, quinoa and other grains
o Reduced or low sodium soups, broth, bouillon
o Salt-free spices and herbs like garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, cilantro, cumin, pepper, mint, etc.
o Zippy flavorings such as vinegar, lemon or lime juice
o Some hot cereals and lower sodium ready-to-eat cereals
o Nonfat, low fat (1%) or evaporated skim milk

During Food Preparation:
· Use less salt or NO salt when preparing foods
· Drain and rinse canned foods such as tuna or beans, to remove some sodium.
· Try these fresh or dried herbs and spices to enhance flavor instead of salt:
o Allspice – ground meats, stews, tomatoes, peaches
o Almond extract – puddings, fruits
o Basil – eggs, fish, lamb, beef, stews, salads, soups, sauces
o Bay leaves – meats, stews, chicken, turkey, soups, tomatoes
o Chives – eggs, salads, sauces, soups, meats, vegetables, rice
o Cider vinegar – salads, vegetables, potatoes, sauces
o Cilantro – meats, chicken, fish, tomatoes, rice, pasta
o Cinnamon – fruits, bread
o Curry powder – meats, chicken, fish, tomatoes
o Dill weed – fish, soups, potatoes
o Garlic – meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, rice, pasta
o Ginger – chicken, fish, fruits
o Mustard powder – ground meats, salads, sauces, potatoes
o Nutmeg – fruits, potatoes
o Paprika – meats, fish, stews, sauces, soups, vegetables
o Parsley – meats, fish, stews, sauces, soups, salads, vegetables
o Rosemary – chicken, veal, meats, potatoes, bread, pasta
o Sage – meats, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans
o Savory – salads, eggs, meats, soups, green beans, tomatoes
o Tarragon – poultry, meats
o Thyme – eggs, meats, sauces, soups, vegetables, tomatoes

At the Table:
· Remove the salt shaker from the table
· At restaurants, avoid sauces and condiments; ask that salt not be used in preparing your food
· Spice it up with these condiments instead of salt:
o Black pepper (freshly ground, if possible, for best flavor)
o Hot pepper sauce
o Crushed red pepper
o Garlic powder
o Onion powder

Adapted From: Your guide to lowering blood pressure; Spice up your life! Eat less salt and sodium; and Cut down on salt and sodium. In: Heart and vascular diseases – High blood pressure. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health:

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