Where’s the sodium?
Most of the sodium we eat comes from added salt in packaged or prepared foods. Only a small amount occurs naturally in foods. Check Nutrition Facts labels and choose foods with lower sodium levels.
|Grains||Serving Size||Milligrams of Sodium|
|Cooked cereal, rice, pasta (unsalted)||1⁄2 cup||0—15|
|Ready-to-eat packaged cereal||1⁄2 cup||0—360|
|Fresh or frozen, cooked without salt||1⁄2 cup||0—70|
|Canned or frozen with sauce||1⁄2 cup||190—430|
|Pasta sauce, jarred||1⁄2 cup||270—490|
|Fresh, frozen, canned||1⁄2 cup||0—5|
|Natural cheeses||1 1⁄2 oz||90—480|
|American cheese, processed||1 slice||200—240|
|Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes|
|Nuts, unsalted||1⁄3 cup||0—5|
|Nuts, salted||1⁄3 cup||70—260|
|Beans, cooked from dried or frozen (unsalted)||1⁄2 cup||0—10|
|Beans, canned||1⁄2 cup||130—450|
|Meats, Fish, and Poultry|
|Fresh or frozen meat, fish, poultry||3 oz||55—75|
|Fresh or frozen poultry, with broth||3 oz||100—170|
|Tuna, canned, water pack||3 oz||140—180|
|Turkey breast, lunch meat||3 oz||540—810|
|Ham, lean, roasted||3 oz||920—950|
Eat your veggies: Choose plain fresh, frozen, or canned (low-sodium or no-salt-added) vegetables and season them yourself.
Fresh is best: Choose fresh or frozen skinless poultry, fish, and lean cuts of meat rather than those that are marinated, canned, smoked, brined, or cured.
Go “low or no”: Check the Nutrition Facts labels to compare sodium levels in foods. Choose low- or reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added versions of foods.
Pay attention to preparation: Limit cured foods (such as bacon and
ham); foods packed in brine (such as pickles, pickled vegetables, olives, and sauerkraut); and condiments (such as mustard, horseradish, ketchup, and bar-
becue sauce). Limit even lower sodium versions of soy sauce and teriyaki
sauce, which should be used as sparingly as table salt.
Subtract, don’t add: Canned foods such as tuna and beans can be rinsed to remove some of the sodium. Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereals without salt. Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.
Limit salty processed foods: Skip or limit frozen dinners and mixed dishes such as pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings, which often have a lot of sodium. Prepare and eat more foods at home, where you can control how much sodium is added.
Spice it up: Boost flavor with herbs, spices, lemon, lime, vinegar, or salt-free
seasoning blends instead of salt or salty seasonings like soy sauce, spice blends, or soup mixes. Start by cutting salt in half and work your way toward healthy substitutes.