How Do I Apply This To My Daily Diet?

To calculate 2500-3000 mg of sodium for the day, each meal will consist of less than 750mg of sodium. If one meal is greater than this, budget the sodium in your other meals so that you stay under your daily goal. The following table will help you identify the lower sodium types of foods.

Foods with Less than 175 mg of Sodium per serving Long-cooking grains: pasta, rice, oatmeal, cream of wheat Baked potatoes Fresh, unprocessed meat, fish or poultry Fresh or frozen seafood Fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables (no salt added)
175-350 mg of Sodium per Serving 1 cup Buttermilk 1 cup Cereal, whole grain (most types) ¼ cup cheese, grated ¼ cup clams, canned ¼ cup vegetables, canned
350-500 mg per serving ½ cup beans, canned ¾ cup cottage cheese ¼ cup tomato juice, reduced sodium    
500-800 1 cup chicken broth, reduced sodium ½ cup chili beans 2 tbsp salad dressing (most types) 1 cup soup, reduced sodium ½ cup boxed stuffing mix, prepared
More than 800 mg of Sodium per Serving 1 cup Chicken broth, regular 1 dill pickle, large 1 oz deli meat/lunch meat cup macaroni and cheese, packaged and prepared Canned and frozen ready-to-eat meals

But I Don't Cook!

Dining out can be a part of your lifestyle, but it doesn't mean you can leave your diet at home! Here are some tips for eating out:

  • Start by limiting your sodium for other meals on the day you dine out. Use about 400-500 mg for your other two meals to save about 1000 mg for dining out.
  • Ask your server or chef what can be prepared without salt. (TIP: Dine out at a time that is not busy until you become used to the menu and the changes that can be made.)
  • Hold sauces, gravies and salad dressings. Ask for oil and vinegar for your salad and fresh ground pepper, if available.
  • Choose fresh fruit, whole grain cereals, milk, yogurt, juice and eggs (made to order).
  • Try a grilled chicken breast sandwich with cheese, veggies, and oil and vinegar at a deli. Add a side of fresh fruit, if available. Leave off any deli meat, salty marinades or dressings.
  • Try steamed rice, steamed vegetables or spring rolls.