What Is a Low-Sodium Diet?
A low-sodium diet restricts the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet. On this diet, you should aim to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. This is the amount in about one teaspoon of table salt.
]]>Sodium]]> is a mineral found in many foods. Most people consume much more sodium than they need. Diets high in sodium can increase blood pressure and lead to edema (water retention). A high-sodium diet can also increase your risk of ]]>stroke]]> . Reducing your sodium intake can help:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce complications of ]]>heart failure]]> and kidney disease
What Foods Are Highest in Sodium?
Foods highest in sodium include table salt (about 50% sodium), convenience foods, preserved foods, and processed foods. Examples of processed foods include:
- Canned foods
- Frozen dinners
- Snack food
- Packaged starchy foods (eg, seasoned rice, instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese)
- Baking mixes
- Deli meats and cheeses
- Sausages and cured or smoked meats
Food Choices on a Low-Sodium Diet
|Food Category||Recommended Foods||Foods to Avoid|
|Meats and Beans|
|Fats and Oils|
|Snacks, Sweets, and Condiments|
- Include a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. Whenever possible, choose whole foods over processed foods.
Read food labels. Look for products marked as:
- Very low-sodium
- No added salt
- Skip the salt when cooking or at the table. If food needs more flavor, be creative. Try different herbs and spices. Garlic and onion also add a lot of flavor to foods.
- Avoid fast food and convenience food. They generally have a lot of added salt.
- Talk to a registered dietitian for individualized diet advice.
American Dietetic Association
American Heart Association
Dietitians of Canada
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
American Dietetic Association. Nutrition Care Manual website. Available at: http://www.nutritioncaremanual.org . Accessed January 13, 2010.
American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org . Accessed December 8, 2009.
Last reviewed January 2010 by ]]>Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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