Low Sodium Diet


Sodium is a mineral found as a natural ingredient in many foods. The most common form of sodium is salt. The lowsodium diet allows you 1/8teaspoon of salt per day to use in food preparation or at the table. Salt substitutes use potassium instead of sodium. You may use them if your doctor approves. However, one should not use salt substitutes with some medications. Check with your doctor to be sure that you can use a salt substitute each time your medication changes.
Following is a list of foods recommended on a lowsodium diet, then a list of those to avoid.
Recommended Foods
Milk and dairy Products (limit to 2cups):
Whole, 2percent, 1percent, skim fluid, evaporated or powdered milk
Yogurt, chocolate milk as part of the milk allowances
Low sodium buttermilk. 1cup of milk equals 130mg sodium
Meat Group (limit four to six ounces daily):
Four to six ounces per day of cooked weight of any meat, poultry (beef, lamb, pork, veal, liver, chicken, duck or turkey) or fish prepared or preserved without salt or sodium
Canned tuna or salmon rinsed or lowsodium tuna and low sodium salmon
One egg daily or 1/3cup egg substitute daily, including that used in cooking
Low sodium peanut butter (2tablespoons equals 1ounce of meat) unsalted nuts, 1ounce low sodium cheese or you may substitute low sodium cottage cheese for 1ounce of meat
Canned kidney beans, rinsed, and frozen dinners with less than 500mg sodium
Unlimited amounts of fresh, frozen (without salt or sodium added), or saltfree canned vegetables or vegetable juices without salt or sodium added
Include a good source of Vitamin A at least every other day such as a dark green or a deep yellow vegetable
Any kind of fruit or fruit juice, fresh, frozen, or canned except those listed in foods to avoid
Include a good source of Vitamin C daily such as citrus fruit or juice, strawberries, raw cabbage and cantaloupe.
Bread and Cereals:
Four slices of regular bread or equivalent per day (bread, rolls, crackers without salted tops)
Sandwich rolls equal two servings of bread.
One (3/4ounce) serving of dry cereal per day (250mg or less). Cereals cooked without added salt. You may use salt free bread, rolls, and crackers as desired.
Rice, macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, barley prepared without added salt.
Unsalted popcorn or pretzels.
Four teaspoons per day of regular salted butter, margarine, mayonnaise or mayonnaise type salad dressing or lowsodium mayonnaise
Unsalted butter, margarine or salad dressing is not restricted
Cooking fat or oil
Low sodium salad dressings, cream, nondairy creamers, sour cream
Unsalted nuts, avocado
Home made soups made without salt or restricted seasonings
Low sodium bouillon, broth and soups
Low sodium cream soups made from milk allowance and allowed foods
Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, cereal beverages such as Postum
Sodium containing carbonated beverages limited to 24ounces per day
Alcoholic beverages with doctor’s permission
Cocoa made with milk allowance without added salt
Gelatin desserts or diet gelatin as desired
Fruit ice; home made tapioca, rice and cornstarch pudding or custard made with allowed milk and egg allowance and without the addition of salt or sodium
Spices and herbs which do not contain sodium or salt compounds
Vinegar, lemon, fresh horse radish without added salt, baking powder and baking soda for allowed baked products only, cream of tartar, Tabasco sauce, VegIt, Mrs. Dash, yeast, lowsodium catsup, lowsodium baking powder, lowsodium baking soda, low sodium chili sauce
You may use a salt substitute or seasoned salt substitute blend containing no sodium with your doctor’s approval.
Foods less sodium: At least 35percent less sodium than the original version of the product
*Light in Sodium: At least 50percent less sodium than the original version of the product
*Low Sodium: 140mg of sodium (or less) per serving
Sodium Free: Less than 5mg of sodium per serving
Dining Out:
When dining out, you can reduce the sodium content of a meal by trying these simple suggestions:
Use pepper, lemon juice, or bring your own salt free seasoning for flavor
Go easy on condiments and sauces. Mustards, catsup, salad dressings, sauces and gravy substantially increase the amount of sodium in your meal
Request that food is prepared without added salt and ask for sauces, salad dressing and gravy be served on the side
Recognize words that indicate a high sodium content; marinated, pickled, smoked, au jus, teriyaki, soy sauce or in broth
Keep it simple. Often special sauces and toppings add extra sodium to foods. Ordering a broiled cut of meat or fish is a better choice than entrees covered with special sauces. Plain meattype sandwiches are lower in sodium than chicken, egg or tuna salad sandwiches.