Sodium

Choose Less Sodium

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Everyone should limit the amount of sodium (salt) in their diet.

  • Eating less sodium helps prevent and control high blood pressure.
  • Most people eat more sodium than they should. The recommended limit is 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

Your salt shaker is not the main problem!

  • Most of the sodium we eat (over 75%) comes from food that has been processed and packaged, and then sold at stores and restaurants—not from the salt shaker.
    • The sodium warning icon: salt campaign on New York City restaurant chain menus indicates that the sodium content is higher than the total daily recommended limit (2,300mg).

Many foods have a lot more sodium than you think. Read the Nutrition Facts label to choose products with less sodium.

  • Foods with a lot of sodium don't always taste salty, so always check the Nutrition Facts label.
  • Compare labels when buying foods.
  • Cook with foods like whole grains, legumes and produce to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.

Choose a Heart-Healthy Diet: DASH

The DASH eating plan (PDF) (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a simple heart-healthy diet that can help prevent or lower high blood pressure.

The DASH diet is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like plant oils or fish. Small amounts of low-fat dairy and nuts are also included. Red meat, processed foods and beverages that contain too much sugar and sodium are limited.

Combining the DASH eating plan with other lifestyle changes, like getting more physical activity, gives you the biggest benefits.

More Sodium Information