Low Sodium Diet : Foods To Choose

Sodium is an important mineral, which is found naturally in foods like eggs and vegetables and is also a main component of table salt (sodium chloride). It performs many essential functions in your body.

Though it’s vital to health, dietary sodium is sometimes limited under certain circumstances.

Most people eat much more sodium (salt) than they need. This can lead to health problems, including heart failure, high blood pressure and kidney disease. This article explains what is a low-sodium and food to choose in low sodium diet.

What is a Low Sodium Diet?

Sodium is an important mineral that involves in many important bodily functions, including cellular function, electrolyte balance, maintaining blood pressure and fluid regulation

Sodium is found in most foods you eat, where processed and packaged foods like chips, frozen foods and fast food are concentrated with sodium (salt) during processing to enhance flavor.

Whole foods like vegetables, fruits and poultry contain much lower amounts. Plant-based foods generally have less sodium than animal-based foods, such as meat and dairy products.

Another major contributor to sodium intake is adding salt to food when preparing meals in your kitchen and as a seasoning before eating.

This diet is generally recommended to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

This mineral is vital to life, your kidneys tightly regulate its levels based on the concentration (osmolarity) of bodily fluids.

When you follow a low-sodium diet, foods high in sodium must be limited or completely avoided to keep your sodium intake under the recommended level. Sodium levels are typically restricted to less than 2–3 grams (2,000–3,000 mg) per day.

Low Sodium: Food List

Vegetables and Fruits

  • Fresh fruits, like oranges, bananas, or apples.
  • Fresh vegetables, like broccoli, spinach, or carrots.
  • Canned vegetables that are low in sodium or have no salt added.
  • Low-sodium vegetable juices.
  • Frozen, canned, or dried fruits and vegetables with no added sugars, butter or sauce.

If you purchase canned vegetables, rinse them thoroughly to remove some of the sodium.

Protein Food

  • Eggs.
  • Lean cuts of beef or pork.
  • Frozen or fresh fish or shellfish.
  • Dried beans (kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans) and peas (black-eyed peas, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils).
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Canned beans with no added salt or low sodium.
  • Chicken or turkey breast without skin.

Go for fresh or frozen seafood, poultry, and meats instead of processed. Mostly processed meat, poultry, and seafood has added sodium. If the package has a Nutrition Facts label, look for 5% DV or less.

Cereals And Other Grains

Look for food products with 5% Daily Value (DV) or less for sodium. A DV of 20% or more is high. 

  • Whole grains like brown or wild rice, quinoa and barley.
  • Whole-grain hot or cold breakfast cereals like oatmeal with no added sugars.
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta and couscous (wheat ravva).
  • Unsalted popcorn, low-sodium chips.

Don’t add salt, when you cook grains like rice or pasta.


Be sure to check the label on cheese, which can be high in sodium. Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt
  • Low-sodium or reduced-sodium cheese
  • Soymilk with added calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D

Dressings, Oils, Condiments and seasonings

  • Oils:
    • Vegetable oils (peanut, sunflower, olive, canola , safflower, soybean and corn).
  • Dressings:
    • Unsalted margarine and spreads with no trans fats and less saturated fats
    • Low-sodium salad dressing – oil and vinegar.
  • Condiments:
    • Low-sodium or no salt added- ketchup and sauce.
      • Alfredo Sauce.
      • Lemon Caper Sauce.
      • Spicy BBQ Sauce.
      • Soy-Less Sodium Sauce.
  • Seasonings:
    • Herbs, spices, or salt-free seasoning blends
    • Chopped vegetables, like garlic, onions, and peppers
    • Ginger
    • Lemon juice


When you cook, use ingredients that are low in sodium or have no sodium at all.

Too little sodium may have negative health effects, and this type of diet is unnecessary for most people.

Low-sodium diets may improve high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease and improves overall diet quality. They may also decrease stomach cancer risk.

If you follow a low-sodium diet, choose fresh and avoid salty foods. The another great way is cooking more meals at home to control your salt intake.

Don’t add salt, when you cook grains like rice or pasta. If you purchase canned vegetables or beans rinse them thoroughly to remove some of the sodium. Stay within your physician’s recommendation.