A low-sodium diet restricts the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet. On this diet, you should aim to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. This is the amount in about one teaspoon of table salt.
Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. Most people consume much more sodium than they need. Diets high in sodium can increase blood pressure. A high-sodium diet can also increase your risk of stroke. Reducing your sodium intake can help lower blood pressure.
Foods highest in sodium include table salt (about 50% sodium), convenience foods, preserved foods, and processed foods. Examples of processed foods include:
- Canned foods
- Frozen dinners
- Snack food
- Packaged starchy foods (eg, seasoned rice, instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese)
- Baking mixes
- Deli meats and cheeses
- Sausages and cured or smoked meats
Last reviewedMarch 2013by Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.