Shopping Tips to Keep Sodium Down

Watch out for surprising hidden sodium in common foods.

Shopping Tips to Keep Sodium Down

By EatingWell Editors

Limiting sodium is important for heart health. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day as part of a healthy eating pattern. According to these guidelines, the vast majority of adults eat more sodium than they should—an average of more than 3,400 milligrams each day. Use this guide to scale back on sodium without feeling deprived.

Canned beans and tomatoes: Look for ones labeled “no-sodium” or “low-sodium.” (These terms are regulated by the FDA and mean less than 5 mg and 140 mg per serving respectively.)

Broth: Some store-bought broth delivers close to 1,000 mg sodium/cup. Choose reduced-sodium (averaging 500 mg/cup), no-salt-added (averaging 200 mg/cup) or low-sodium (140 mg or less/cup) stock or broth. Some are lower in sodium, but not labeled as such—so compare among brands.

Breads and cereals: Most store-bought breads, including rolls, pita bread and regular sandwich slices, have a significant amount of salt added to them. Compare nutrition information when choosing and go with the lowest-sodium option.

Meat, poultry and seafood: Check labels to avoid meat, especially turkey and pork, “enhanced” with a sodium solution.

Cheeses: Many cheeses, including Cheddar, feta and Parmesan, are high in sodium. Swiss cheese is naturally lower in sodium than many other cheeses.

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