How can I reduce my daily intake of sodium?

Asked October 22, 2015, 3:42 AM EDT

And how much sodium is acceptable for healthy living? One online credible source said to keep daily intake to around 2,300 mg per day and then another stated it should be no more than 1,500 mg per day.

Can you provide suggestions as to how to stay in this range? I've been reading the nutrition facts labels and I'm shocked at how much sodium is in everything (or so it seems).

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Donna S - Pensacola, Florida


1 Response

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend all individuals under the age of 51 limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams a day. The Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 1,500 milligrams a day if you are or have one of the following: 51 years of age or older, African America, high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease.

The top food sources of sodium are from restaurant meals, prepackaged and processed foods. Below is a list of foods which can contain high amounts of sodium:

*Food * Sodium range in milligrams (Many of these foods are frozen or canned foods.)
1 slice of bread 80-230

3 oz. luncheon meat 450-1,050

4 oz. slice frozen plain cheese pizza 370-730

4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast 40-330

3 oz. breaded chicken strips, restaurant 430-900

3 ox. breaded frozen chicken strips 200-570

1 cup soup 100-940

1 corn dog 350-620

1 cheeseburger, fast-food restaurant 710-1.690

1 oz. slice American Cheese 330-460

1 cup canned pasta with meat sauce 530-980

5 oz. pork with barbecue sauce (packaged) 600-1,120

1 oz. potato chips 50-200

Snack foods include chips, pretzels, and popcorn.

To find the amount of sodium in restaurant meals you need to check the restaurant’s nutritional information. You can also if the restaurant has any low sodium meals.

Ways to reduce the sodium in your meals are:

· Choose fresh and less processed vegetables.

· Limit your use of processed and canned meats

· Check labels on marinades and condiments, especially soy sauce, fish sauce. Canned soups and broths can be very high in sodium, so choose one with lower amounts.

· Check labels of canned foods to find ones lower in sodium. Buy ‘no salt added” canned vegetables.

· “Instant” products, mixes and sauces can be high in sodium, such as flavored rice, and pasta dishes.

· Rinse canned foods (when possible) to remove some of the sodium.

· Remove salt from recipes when possible. (Can download the handout “Modifying Recipes to Be Healthier” at

· Try using different herbs, spices and other ingredients to add or enhance flavors.

· It a label says the food contains 20% or more sodium it is considered to be high in sodium. Look for foods that contain 5% or less sodium.

· Use salt substitutes carefully. Check with your doctor before using, especially if you using diabetic medicines.

Retrain your taste buds by cutting back on salt gradually. Stop salting foods at the table and remove the salt shaker from the table. Then stop adding salt when cooking at home, except when using yeast products. Add other no-sodium/salt added spices and herbs to provide some flavor.