How to reduce your sodium intake

How to reduce your sodium intake

Limit salty snacks, fast food, and processed meat to reduce your sodium intake.

Choose fresh vegetables

Buy fresh or frozen vegetables. If you purchase canned vegetables, buy those labeled:

  • “reduced sodium”
  • “low sodium”
  • “no salt added”

At the very least, rinse off your canned vegetables with water before cooking them.

Limit salty snacks
  • Limit the amount of salty snacks you eat, such as chips, pretzels, and nuts.
  • Choose unsalted options when available. For example, choose unsalted nuts.
Use other spices

Experiment with different herbs, spices, and other flavors to replace salt as a seasoning.

Garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin, ground black pepper, dried basil, salt free seasonings such as those from Mrs. Dash, etc.

Limit processed meats

Limit your intake of processed meats such as ham, bologna, corned beef, bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and pepperoni.

Americans get 77% of their sodium from processed foods and restaurant foods.

Limit fast food and eating out
  • A big mac from McDonald’s has 1040 mg of sodium!
  • A double beef burrito from Taco Bell has 1620 mg sodium!
  • A fajita chicken quesadilla from Chili’s has 4,820 mg of sodium!

One fajita chicken quesadilla has more than two times the amount of sodium recommended for one day. If you already have high blood pressure, or are over the age of 40, it has more than three times the recommended sodium limit!

How  much salt or sodium can I have in a day?

American Heart Association
New Reasons to be Wary of Hidden Salt: May 2009: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter
Centers for Disease Control

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Stephanie Averkamp

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Stephanie Averkamp

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