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Low-Salt Choices

Eating salt (sodium) can make your body retain too much water. Excess water makes your heart work harder. Canned, packaged, and frozen foods are easy to prepare, but they are often high in sodium. Here are some ideas for low-salt foods you can easily prepare yourself.

Glass of blueberry yogurt with fresh blueberries and mint.

For breakfast

  • Fruit or 100% fruit juice

  • Whole-wheat bread or an English muffin. Compare sodium content on labels.

  • Low-fat milk or yogurt

  • Unsalted eggs

  • Shredded wheat

  • Corn tortillas

  • Unsalted steamed rice

  • Regular (not instant) hot cereal, made without salt

Stay away from:

  • Sausage, bacon, and ham

  • Flour tortillas

  • Packaged muffins, pancakes, and biscuits

  • Instant hot cereals

  • Cottage cheese

For lunch and dinner

  • Fresh fish, chicken, turkey, or meat—baked, broiled, or roasted without salt

  • Dry beans, cooked without salt

  • Tofu, stir-fried without salt

  • Unsalted fresh fruit and vegetables, or frozen or canned fruit and vegetables with no added salt

Stay away from:

  • Lunch or deli meat that is cured or smoked

  • Cheese

  • Tomato juice and catsup

  • Canned vegetables, soups, and fish not labeled as no-salt-added or reduced sodium

  • Packaged gravies and sauces

  • Olives, pickles, and relish

  • Bottled salad dressings

For snacks and desserts

  • Yogurt

  • Unsalted, air popped popcorn

  • Unsalted nuts or seeds

Stay away from:

  • Pies and cakes

  • Packaged dessert mixes

  • Pizza

  • Canned and packaged puddings

  • Pretzels, chips, crackers, and nuts—unless the label says unsalted

Online Medical Reviewer: Poulson, Brittany, RD, CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Last Review Date: 6/17/2015
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