A 2-gram sodium diet means eating less than 2,000 milligrams (mg) or 2 grams of sodium a day. Sodium is found in salt and in small amounts in most other foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2,400 mg of sodium. Eating too much sodium can make your blood pressure go up and can cause other health problems related to fluid retention. You should limit the sodium in your food if you have high blood pressure or heart failure. Liver problems or kidney disease are other reasons to limit sodium in foods you eat. Women with PMS and bloating, breast tenderness, and swelling can especially benefit from a low sodium diet!


     Do not add salt to food during cooking or before eating. Check with your caregivers before using salt-free


Limit milk, yogurt, and cheese to 2 servings a day. Regular cheese contains a medium to high amount of salt. If you eat cheese, buy low sodium kinds as often as possible.

Read labels on all packaged foods to check for sodium. Fast food and processed packaged foods are often high in sodium. Buy low salt or low sodium foods whenever possible.

Avoid regular canned soups or soups made from dry mixes. Buy low sodium soups or make your own at home without salt.

Many stores now have low sodium breads, canned vegetables, canned fish, cheeses, crackers, salad dressings, soups, and snacks.

Only buy frozen meals that have less than 400 mg of sodium per serving.

       Check labels of medicines for sodium contents. Ask your doctor or caregiver if you are not sure about taking

       a medicine.

       Avoid high sodium foods. Instead, eat the lower sodium.

 Helpful portion sizes:

 1 cup (8 ounces) of food is the size of a large handful.

½ cup (4 ounces) of food is about half of a large handful.

 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) is about the size of a large walnut.

 1½ cups (12 ounces) of liquid is the size of a soda-pop can.

Helpful hints to making good choices about sodium.

 Keep deli meats to a minimum. Fresh cooked meat is preferable; so as an alternative, make your own sandwich meat.

 Limit your number of starches

 Avoid canned meats, soups, and vegetables as much as possible


High Sodium Foods [Do NOT drink/eat]

 Beverages                                                                         Breads & Starches

 bouillon, broth, or consommé                                            breads & crackers with salted tops such as saltine crackers           

Gatorade                                                                            boxed potato, rice, casserole mixes

regular tomato or vegetable juices                                    salted popcorn or pretzel

malted milk                                                                       chips (potato, corn, tortilla) or salad croutons

seltzer water with sodium or softened water                    instant hot cereals, mashed potatoes, or stuffing mixes

Dairy                                                                                pancakes, biscuits, or waffles from mixes

 processed cheeses and spreads                                         Fats

 butter, condensed, or malted milk                                      bacon, bacon drippings, or imitation bacon bits

Meats/Protein Foods                                                       chip dips made with regular cheese

ham, hot dogs, sausages                                                    olives

anchovies, lox, caviar                                                         regular salad dressings

barbecued meat made with salt                                          salted butter or margarine 

 chipped or corned beef                                                     Vegetables

 salted or smoked meats & fish                                         vegetables with cream or cheese sauces

 salted nuts or peanut butter                                                dill pickles, pickled beets, onions, or carrots

 regular cottage cheese                                                       sauerkraut

 lunch meats, cold cuts, deli meats                                    Fruits

Others                                                                              salted plums (umeboshi)

salsa, hot sauce, chili sauce with salt                                fruit chutneys with salt

baking soda and powder, self-rising flour                        maraschino cherries        

barbecue sauce or steak sauce                           

 gravies, sauces from mixes

meat tenderizers or monosodium glutamate

oriental foods with salt - i.e. soy, teriyaki sauce

relishes, prepared horseradish sauce

 salts such as: garlic salt, kosher salt, onion salt, pickling salt, rock salt, sea salt, seasoning salt, or table salt

 salt substitutes, unless approved by your doctor

 Low Sodium Food [Better Choices]

  Beverages                                                                                               Dairy        

 coffee, tea, iced tea                                                                                 1 cup fresh milk

flavored bubbly water without sodium                                                   1 cup hot cocoa made from mix

fruit juices as listed in the fruit group                                                    1 ounce (1 inch cube) mozzarella or Swiss cheese

Breads & Starches                                                                                1 cup yogurt

 whole grain bread                                                                                    ½ cup ricotta cheese or low sodium cottage cheese

½ bagel, hot dog bun, hamburger bun, or English muffin                     Fats

½ cup cooked past, mashed potatoes, or rice                                          1/8 avocado

3 cups popped popcorn, no salt                                                               1 tsp olive oil

¾ cup dry flake cereal                                                                             1 Tbsp low sodium salad dressing or mayonnaise

½ cup cooked non-instant hot cereal                                                       2 Tbsp low fat sour cream

1 ounce unsalted chips or snacks                                                             1 tsp unsalted butter

1 ounce unsalted crackers or pretzels                                                       1/4 cup unsalted gravy                                                                                                

     2 Tbsp unsalted nuts


 ½ cup canned fruit                                                                                 Meats/Protein Foods

  ½ cup fruit juice                                                                                      fresh cooked beef, pork, fish, seafood, or poultry

1½ cup fresh berries                                                                                 low sodium deli meats or lunch meats

1 medium apple, banana, orange, peach, or pear                                     low sodium canned tuna or salmon

15 small grapes                                                                                        1 large egg equals 1 ounce of meat

¼ cup dried fruit made without salt                                                        2 inch cube of tofu equals 1 ounce of meat

Vegetables                                                                                              2 Tbsp unsalted peanut butter = 1 ounce of meat

fresh peppers, jalapeños, garlic                                                          Others

½ cup cooked fresh or frozen vegetables                                          barbecue sauce made without salt

1 cup low sodium tomato or vegetable juice                                    herbs, spices, onion or garlic powder

2 cups salad greens                                                                             lemon pepper w/out salt

½ cup salt-free salsa                                                                            low sodium ketchup or mustard

                                                                                                          salt-free herb blends i.e- curry powder,                                                           

                                                                                                      Cajun seasoning, Chinese spice, Italian herbs, 

                                                                                                    or chili powder                                                                                                       







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