Reducing sodium at the grocery store

Controlling how much sodium you eat starts with making healthier food choices at the grocery store.

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Read the label

Limiting packaged or ready-to-eat foods and take-out meals is a great way to control your sodium intake. But if you're going to eat packaged foods, be sure to read the label first.

  1. Choose unsalted or low-sodium foods whenever possible. Look for words such as "sodium-free," "low sodium," "reduced sodium," or "no added salt" on the package.
  2. Use the % Daily Value (% DV) on the label to compare products and see if the food has a little or a lot of sodium. Choose products with no more than 15% DV of sodium per serving.

Choose lower-sodium foods

Vegetables and fruit

  • Buy fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible.
  • Look for canned vegetables that are low in sodium.
  • Buy low-sodium vegetable juice and tomato juice.

Grain products

  • Enjoy whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and quinoa, which are sodium-free.
  • Choose bread, breakfast cereal, and bakery products that are lowest in sodium.

Milk and alternatives

  • Buy milk, fortified soy beverages, and yogurt. They are low in sodium.
  • Choose Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese.

Meat and alternatives

  • Buy unseasoned meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and tofu.
  • Choose unsalted nuts, and natural nut butters.
  • Look for low-sodium canned beans or try dried beans, peas, and lentils.

Did you know?

Kosher salt, sea salt, fleur de sel, gourmet salt, and smoked salt all have the same amount of sodium as table salt. They are not healthier choices.

Foods to limit

Packaged and ready-to-eat foods and take-out meals are often high in sodium. It's a good idea to limit:

  • canned or packaged sauces, dips, gravies, condiments, and dressings
  • canned soup
  • deli meat
  • frozen meals
  • pizza
  • processed cheese and cheese spreads
  • ready-to-eat foods from the take-out or deli counter
  • snack foods such as chips, pretzels, and salted nuts
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