Nine out of 10 Americans eat more sodium (salt) than they need. Eating too much sodium can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
The good news is that cutting down on sodium can help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
Use these tips to help lower the amount of sodium in your diet. Try making just 1 or 2 changes at a time.
Ask your doctor how much sodium is okay for you. The general guidance is:
Most of the sodium we eat doesn’t come from our salt shakers. Sodium is in almost all the processed and prepared foods we buy — even foods that don’t taste salty, like bread or tortillas.
When you’re shopping, limit these foods that are high in sodium or look for low-sodium versions:
Use this shopping list to find lower-sodium foods at the grocery store.
Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the amount of sodium in foods and compare different options.
Swap out foods that are higher in sodium for healthier options. You can:
Making your own meals is a great way to eat less sodium, because you’re in control of what goes into your food. Try these tips when you cook:
If you’re too busy to cook every night, start by making dinner just 1 night a week. Check out these healthy recipes with less sodium.
Try these tips when you eat out or get takeout:
Replace high-sodium foods with high-potassium foods. Eating foods with potassium can help lower your blood pressure.
Good sources of potassium include:
Learn more about potassium.
This information on eating less sodium was adapted from materials from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Reviewed by:The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Content last updated June 1, 2022
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