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Sodium in Foods

Download Sodium in Foods pdf document (35k) handout.

Choose More Often: Foods Lower in Sodium

  • Chicken and turkey (with skin removed)
  • Fresh fish or rinsed canned fish such as tuna or sardines
    Pregnant and nursing mothers: Talk to your health care provider to find out the types of fish you can eat that are lower in mercury.
  • Canned foods packed in water
  • Low-sodium or reduced-sodium cheeses
  • Low-salt chips, nuts, and pretzels
  • Plain rice, noodles, or pasta
  • Homemade, low-sodium, or reduced-sodium soups
  • Fresh, frozen, “no salt added,” or rinsed canned (Rinse canned foods to reduce the sodium.) vegetables
  • Spices, herbs, and flavorings such as cilantro, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder,vinegar, and chili powder

Choose Less Often: Foods Higher in Sodium

  • Smoked and cured meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, hotdogs, and bologna
  • Canned fish such as tuna and sardines (that are not rinsed) and salted/dried codfish (bacalao seco y salado)
    Pregnant and nursing mothers: Talk to your health care provider to find out the types of fish you can eat that are lower in mercury.
  • Canned foods packed in broth or salt (Rinse canned foods to reduce the sodium)
  • Most cheeses
  • Salty chips, crackers, nuts, and pretzels
  • Quick-cooking rice and boxes of mixed rice, potatoes, or noodles
  • Regular canned and instant soups
  • Regular canned vegetables, pickles, olives, and pickled vegetables (Rinse canned goods to reduce the sodium.)
  • Condiments and seasonings such as soy sauce, ketchup, garlic salt, seasoning salt, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizer, and monosodium glutamate (MSG)

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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