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What SALT Does
• Sodium plays an important role in
maintaining the body's fluid balance
• Essential for muscles and nerves to
function properly.
• Most of us consume too much of it.
• FDA guidelines call for less than 2,400 mg
of sodium per day -- about 1 teaspoon of
table salt.
Where does all the sodium in our diet come from?
most of our salt
intake doesn’t
come from the
salt shaker; it’s
hidden in many
of the foods we
buy at the
grocery store.
787 mg of
Turkey dinner
Frozen Foods
Quick and easy but loaded with
Ready To EAT Cereals
342 mg sodium in raisin
bran per cup
Veggie drinks are a
healthy way to get your
HOWEVER, if you are
watching your sodium
be careful!
One cup of vegetable
juice cocktail contains
653 mg of sodium.
•Canned veggies are typically loaded with
preservatives or sauces and seasonings that
add extra sodium.
•A cup of canned cream-style corn contains 730
mg of sodium.
Tips: Rinse vegetables thoroughly, or buy canned ones labeled “no salt
added,” and add your own, in moderation. Or check the freezer section
where you may have more luck finding an unsalted choice.
Packaged deli meats
One look at the
sodium content in
packaged meats
should stop you in
your tracks. Beef or
pork salami (2
slices) can pack 604
mg of sodium.
•It’s a warm comfort food on a
cold day, but look out -- soups
are typically loaded with sodium.
Soup's ON
•For instance, a cup of chicken
noodle soup (canned) contains
as much as 1,106 mg of sodium.
Tips: Look for reduced-sodium versions of your favorites. And always check
the label -- you might find that one brand’s “Healthy” version actually has less
sodium than the “25% Less Sodium” variety.
Notoriously high-sodium
offenders include Teriyaki sauce
(1 tablespoon) which contains
690 mg of sodium, and soy
sauce (1 tablespoon), which
may contain up to 1,000 mg of
Tips: Even “lower-sodium” soy sauce packs a wallop, so use sparingly. Go for
vinegar and lemon juice to enhance flavor -- they naturally have less sodium.
And try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat marinades.
Saucy Decisions
Half a cup of
spaghetti sauce may
pack 610 mg of
sodium -- and that
amount barely coats
a helping of pasta.
Tip: Look for “no salt added” versions of your favorite pasta
Adding spices to an entrée can
be an easy way to forgo the
salt shaker.
Tips: Go for the pepper in its
natural form to ditch the sodium
used in processing. Or use
herbs and sodium-free spices
Rethink those salty peanuts!
An ounce of dry-roasted,
salted peanuts contains 230
mg of sodium. The same size
serving of dry-roasted, salted
mixed nuts has 190 mg.
Tips: For about the same amount of
calories, an ounce of oil-roasted, salted
peanuts rings in at only 91 mg of
sodium. Or better yet, buy the unsalted
variety, which are practically sodiumfree
These snack-time
favorites are always a
safe bet for high salt
content. Here’s how a 1
oz serving compares.
Potato chips = 149 mg
Cheese puffs = 258 mg
Pretzels = 385 mg
Tip: Even “baked” or fat-free snacks can pack the same
amount of sodium or more, so read the label.
Tips: Skip the
packaged rice, and
choose a plain, fastcooking variety; then
add your own
Foods such as rice, potatoes, and pasta in their natural forms are naturally
low in sodium. But once you grab the convenient ‘all-in-one’ box and add
the flavor packet, you may end up eating more than half of your daily
allowance of sodium in just one serving.
If you think those little
extras you add to your
food don’t count, think
Ketchup (1 tbsp) = 178
Sweet relish (1 tbsp) =
Tip: Go for low-sodium or sodium-free condiments. Or get creative with
your substitutions: Try cranberry relish or apple butter for a naturally
lower sodium choice.
Understand Labeling Jargon !
Sodium-free: Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
Very low-sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
Low-sodium: Less than 140 mg per serving
Reduced sodium: Sodium level reduced by 25%
Unsalted, no salt added, or without added salt:
Made without the salt that's normally used,
but still contains the sodium that's a natural part of the food itself.
Checking the Ingredient panel
Don’t just look for the word “salt.”
Watch out for various forms of sodium :
sodium alginate
sodium ascorbate
sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
sodium benzoate
sodium caseinate
sodium chloride
sodium citrate
sodium hydroxide
sodium saccharin
sodium stearoyl lactylate
sodium sulfite
disodium phosphate
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
trisodium phosphate