August 2014

Low Sodium Diet

How to Eliminate Salt from Your Diet

In order to avoid foods excessive salt in your diet you will have to: 1) decrease eating foods high in salt content, 2) not add extra salt to your foods, 3) know which foods are high in salt and 4) which foods are low in salt.

In this paper we will 1) give you valuable hints on how to reduce salt, 2) provide you with a list of foods and their salt contents. This is NOT an all inclusive list. It does not contain the salt content of every food you might eat, rather it contains the salt content of some of the more common foods. If you have further needs about specific foods you will have to search out the answers yourself.

•    Avoid processed foods and delicatessen type foods and pickled foods.
•    Avoid canned foods such as: soups, tomato juice, vegetables.
•    Avoid prepared and frozen foods.
•    Avoid salty snacks such as: pretzels, crackers, popcorn, nuts and chips.
•    Avoid prepared meats, such as: bacon, ham, sausages, cold cuts.
•    Avoid processed cheeses and cheese spreads, and most cheeses.
•    Avoid salty or smoked fish such as: canned tuna, sardines, anchovies, caviar, herring, salted or dried cod, smoked salmon. Avoid prepared mustards, horseradish, catsups.
•    Avoid soy sauce, bullion cubes, seasoning mixes, dried soups, monosodium glutamate.

When dining out ask that no salt or monosodium glutamate be added to your food. Eliminate or cut down on salt in cooking at home. Use herbs or spices, lemon juice, garlic or onions instead for flavoring your foods. Try not to salt foods at the table and if necessary only to taste. 


Salt Content of Selected Food

The following list is only meant to be a representative list of some commonly eaten foods. We hope that it will give the reader a general an idea of the amount of salt that may be found in foods. Space unfortunately does not allow us to present a more comprehensive list. Such lists can be found by searching the worldwide web or may purchased on-line or at bookstores.


  •  Beef, veal 
    3 oz. 75 mg.
     Lamb, pork 3 oz. 75 mg.
     Ham, cured 3 oz. 675 mg.
    1 slice
    75 mg.
    1 frank 540 mg.
     Bologna   1 slice 390 mg.
     Chicken 3 oz.
    75 mg.
    1 whole 60 mg.
     Fish, fresh
    3 oz. 75 mg.
  • Beans and Nuts:
  •  Dry beans, peas ½ cup
    15 mg.
     Peanuts, salted
    ¼ cup
    275 mg.
     Peanuts, unsalted
    ¼ cup
    2 mg.
  • Vegetables and Fruits:   
  • Corn, cucumbers, green peppers, lima beans,
    onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet
    potato, tomato, egg plant 
    1 cup
    5 mg.
    Cabbage, lettuce, radishes, turnip 
    ½ cup
    15 mg.
     Carrots, celery, spinach
    ½ cup
    40 mg.
     Most fruits
    ½ cup 2 mg.

  • Breads and Cereals: 

  •  Wheat germ ¼ cup 5 mg.
     Puffed wheat, puffed rice, shredded wheat
    1 cup 1 mg.
     Corn flakes 1 cup 165 mg.
     Bran flakes ¾ cup 340 mg.
     Whole wheat bread 1 slice 170 mg.
     Rice, cooked
    ½ cup 3 mg.
     Oatmeal, cooked, salted 1 cup 520 mg.

  • Milk, Cheese And Dairy Products:

  •  Low fat milk
    1 cup 
    120 mg.
     Buttermilk 1 cup 225 mg.
     Cheese-cheddar, Swiss, American
    1 oz.
    220 mg.
     Cottage cheese, creamed
    ¼ cup
    ¼ cup
    160 mg.
    30 mg.
     Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp.
    40 mg.
     Low fat cheese 1 oz.
    200 mg.

  • Miscellaneous Foods:

Margarine, salted

1 tbsp.
1 tbsp.
110 mg.
1 mg.
Green olive  
1 155 mg.
Dill pickle 
1 large
1928 mg.
¼ tsp.
575 mg.
1 tbsp. 
200 mg.
Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp.
315 mg.
Peanut butter, regular 
1 tbsp. 
18 mg.
Gelatin, plain 
1 tbsp.
3 mg.
Gelatin, flavored (4-5 servings)
1 box
330 mg.
Soy sauce
1 tbsp. 
1300 mg.
1 tbsp. 
500 mg.
Homemade soup, salted
1 cup
500 mg.
Potato chips
10 chips
200 mg.
Salad dressing 
1 tbsp.
200 mg.

  • Foods Low in Salt:

  • Whole grains and legumes prepared without salt.
    Most fruits and vegetables.

  • For more information on Low Salt Diets, click here.