Tips for reducing sodium at the grocery store

Generally, people in the United States consume more sodium on average than is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,2020-2025. Your body needs approximately 500 milligrams of sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract, and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. Consuming too much sodium in your diet can lead to serious health complications, such as elevated blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, calcium losses, and stroke. Sodium, which is a mineral, is an element found in salt. The biological name for salt that you eat, or drink is sodium chloride. The words are not the same but are often used interchangeably, and both may be found on a nutrition fact label. Did you know that adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day? Foods that are likely to be packed with high-levels of sodium are deli meats, frozen pizzas, tacos, burritos, soups, savory snacks, poultry ,burgers, eggs, and pasta mixed dishes. Here are some useful tips below to help you reduce your sodium intake, while grocery shopping.

1. Pick fresh or frozen chicken that has not been injected with a salt solution. Look for terms such as “broth,” “saline,” or “sodium solution” on the packaging.

2. Choose condiments with care. Items like soy sauce, bottled salad dressings, ketchup, jarred salsas, pickles, and olives can be high in sodium. Choose those that are labeled “low sodium” or “low salt.”

3. Choose canned vegetables labeled as “no salt added” and frozen vegetables without sauce or purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.

4. Read nutrition fact labels. Compare labels and choose the item that is the lowest in sodium.

5. Watch for frozen, prepared meals (TV dinners). Read the food labels and choose those with less than 600 mg of sodium per meal.

Shakera Williams, M.P.H.

Assistant FCS Nutrition Extension Agent – Nutrition 

Webster/Claiborne Parish

Office: (318) 371-1371

Fax: ( 318) 371-9005 

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