Shopping Tips to Keep Sodium Down

Watch out for surprising hidden sodium in common foods.

Limiting sodium is important for heart health—and keeping under a cap of 1,500 mg of sodium per day requires some shopping savvy. Use these helpful hints to guide you through the aisles.

Watch: See how to cut sodium in your diet


1. Canned Beans & Tomatoes

1. Canned Beans & 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.) Rinse beans before you use them to remove some of the excess sodium.


2. Broth

2. 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.


3. Breads & Cereals

3. Breads & 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.


Meat, Poultry & Seafood

4. Meat, Poultry & Seafood

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


Cheese

5. Cheese

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