Reduce Salt and Sodium in Your Diet
Healthy American adults should reduce their sodium intake to no more than 2400 milligrams per day. This is about 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (salt). To illustrate, the following are sodium equivalents in the diet.
What are the common sources of sodium?
Watch for both natural and added sodium content. Ordinary table salt is sodium chloride — 40 percent sodium by weight. Read the labels when you buy prepared and packaged foods. Watch for the words "soda" (soda refers to sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda) and "sodium" and the symbol "Na" on labels. These products contain sodium compounds.
Some drugs contain large amounts of sodium. Make a habit of carefully reading the ingredient list on the label of all over-the-counter drugs and the warning statement to see if sodium is in the product. A statement of sodium content must appear on labels of antacids containing 5 mg or more per dosage unit (tablet, teaspoon, etc.). Some companies now make low-sodium over-the-counter products.
Most spices contain sodium in very small amounts.
What foods help reduce sodium in the diet?