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Facts About Low Sodium Diets

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, so reducing high blood pressure, if it's too high, is very important for heart health.

Sodium Goal - How Much Sodium per Day?

It is recommended that most Americans eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. If you are at high risk for heart disease or currently have high blood pressure, you should eat less than 1,500 mg per day.

Eating a low-sodium diet takes work. Salt and sodium are used heavily in many processed foods, making it difficult to find low-sodium choices. Try these tips when choosing foods that fit in a low-sodium, heart healthy diet:

Limit Foods High in Sodium

  • Salty snacks
  • Lunch meats from the deli
  • Processed meats like ham, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs
  • Cheeses
  • Seasonings - many seasonings and spices contain salt.
  • Certain canned foods
  • Certain frozen dinners

Read Food Labels for Sodium Info

The sodium content of one serving is found on food labels of processed foods.

You have room for some sodium in your diet. Sodium in meals and foods that provide more calories in your diet would logically have more sodium.

Most raw meats do not have a Nutrition Facts label. Read the ingredient listing for meats, especially poultry. Some have salt added and can be much higher in sodium than unsalted meats, which are generally low in sodium.

Choose low sodium and unsalted versions of foods. Many crackers, canned vegetables, canned soups, and nuts have low sodium options.

Watch the Salt Shaker

While most sodium in our diet comes from processed foods, adding salt to food at the table can add up. Eating less salt on your food gets easier over time as your taste adjusts.


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