Low Sodium

Most Americans use more salt and sodium than they need. The FDA recommends no more than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams) of sodium per day. That equals 6 grams of table salt (about 1 teaspoon) per day, which includes all salt used both in cooking and at the table. Those with high blood pressure and certain other medical conditions may be advised by their doctor to consume even less.

Processed foods that are high in salt include canned vegetables and soups, frozen dinners, lunch meats, instant and ready-to-eat cereals, and salty chips and other snacks.


FDA requirements for sodium content are as follows:

  • Sodium Free – less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving

  • Very Low Sodium – 5 - 35 milligrams or less per serving

  • Low Sodium – 36 - 140 milligrams or less per serving

  • Reduced Sodium – usual sodium level is reduced by 25%

  • Unsalted, No Salt Added or Without Salt Added – made without the salt that’s normally used, may still contain naturally occurring sodium.


Tips to reduce salt and sodium:

  • Buy fresh, plain frozen, or canned “with no salt added” vegetables

  • Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat rather than canned or processed types

  • Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the table

  • Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereal without salt. Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes

  • Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings

  • Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, to remove some sodium

  • Buy low-sodium, reduced-sodium or no salt added versions of foods

  • Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are low in sodium