Low Sodium Diet Tips

The produce department is your best friend. Learn all you can about choosing and cooking with fruits and vegetables.

Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than processed types.

Choose fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without added salt.

Throw away your salt shaker. Use MySALT at the table to season your food.

Always read food labels and do the math. The sodium content on the Nutrition Facts panel is based on the number of servings the package states. Example: a can of soup may say 870 mg of sodium but bases that number on 2.5 servings. 770 x 2.5 = 2,175 mg of sodium in that can of soup.

Cook and bake with MySALT.

Substitute MySALT wherever salt is called for in a recipe.

Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.

Avoid salty snack foods such as pretzels, potato chips, salted nuts, olives, cheeses, and pickles.

Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which are low in sodium.

Choose convenience foods that are lower in sodium. Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, sauces, gravies, and salad dressings. These often have a lot of sodium.

Recognize these words that indicate a high sodium content: pickled, smoked, marinated, teriyaki, soy sauce, broth, and au jus.

Avoid ham, bacon, and sausage.

Rinse canned foods to remove some sodium.

Cook from scratch. De-emphasize the use of processed foods.

When available, buy low or reduced sodium, or no salt added versions of foods. You can add MySALT to replace the salty flavor.

Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are lower in sodium.

Use a kitchen scale. If you are counting milligrams of sodium and need to calculate the weight of food to determine the sodium count, you'll love having a scale.

Buy products low in sodium, MSG, baking soda and other sodium-containing compounds (listed below).

Take note of the sodium content of your favorite condiments, particularly meat tenderizer, steak sauce, soy sauce, salsa, and regular ketchup.

Take MySALT with you when dining out at a restaurant or a friend's home to sprinkle on your food.

Look for the sodium content in medications:

Over-the-counter drugs: Some over-the-counter drugs contain lots of sodium. Make a habit of carefully reading the labels of all of these. Look at the ingredients list and warning statements to see if sodium is listed. A statement of sodium content must appear on labels of antacids containing 5 milligrams (5 mg) or more per dosage unit (tablet, teaspoon). Some companies produce low sodium over the counter products. If in doubt, ask your physician or pharmacist if the drug is appropriate for you.

Prescription drugs: Consumers can’t know whether a prescription drug contains sodium. Ask your physician or pharmacist about the sodium content of prescription drugs. Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your doctor.