Tips for Lowering Sodium

If you’ve been told to reduce your salt intake, it's probably because of sodium chloride, a salt mineral. Prevalent in ordinary table salt, kosher salt (and yes, even sea salt), you might be surprised to know that about 70-80 percent of the sodium in your diet likely comes from processed and away-from-home foods.
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About 70-80 percent of the sodium in your diet is likely to come from processed and away-from-home foods.

Advice to cut back on sodium usually comes from your doctor because you have high blood pressure (hypertension) or are at risk for it. For those advised to follow a lower sodium diet, the goal is likely to be 1500-2000 milligrams per day. Since sodium is an important nutrient, setting a goal for your health is something that should be prescribed by your physician.

What Can You Do?

  • First check with your physician or a registered dietitian ( for ways to meet your goals.
  • Check out the nutritional information on your favorite foods and menu items. An ingredient list can be a big eye-opener.
  • Sodium is found naturally in milk, meat, fish, chicken and some vegetables. In some recipes, sodium is essential (yeast breads, baking soda, or baking powder).
  • Sodium-containing ingredients help keep processed cheese and breads from molding, act as a preservative, serve as a way to make deli meats and hot dogs safer (sodium nitrate), and are part of the process of koshering meats and making pickles.

Hold the Salt, Please!

Take Action

  • Check out the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension). Emphasis is on including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, low fat dairy and heart healthy oils.
  • Include more fresh or unprocessed foods in your meals.
  • Read the labels of processed foods. Giant Eagle® carries a large selection of canned vegetables (including tomatoes) that have no added salt. Reduced-sodium soups, tomato juice, broths, stock and condiments are also available.
  • Use herbs and spices, pepper, garlic, flavored vinegars, fresh lemon, and lime juice to add flavor and omit or cut down on the added sodium.
  • Read labels on everything you buy or plan to buy. More companies are lowering the sodium in their foods by avoiding MSG (monosodium glutamate) and using herbs rather than added salt.
  • Check out the sodium level in snacks and breads and look for alternatives with lower sodium.
  • Salt substitutes are available, but check with your doctor before you take one that has potassium as an ingredient.
  • Taste before you add salt.

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Brought to you by the Registered Dietitians at Giant Eagle and Market District®

Important Physician Advice Disclaimer: The content provided by Giant Eagle®, including but not limited to, website, recipe and health information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician for professional guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under the age of 18, pregnant, nursing or have health problems.