Low to no salt foods

My doctor told me to lower my salt intake to 1,000 mg a day. I am finding it severly hard. I need ideas for either no salt food or low salt foods. No I do not add salt to my food. So that will not be an issue. All help would be appreciated.


  • Keiko385
    Keiko385 Posts: 514 Member
    Easiest way to cut the sodium is to not use canned veggies and other prepared foods. I can usually keep mine between 1000-1500 mg daily.
  • Thanks. I should have said outside of that. I do not do hardly any of that thankfully. I was able to get my food down to 2000 mg but any lower is proving problematic.
  • drmerc
    drmerc Posts: 2,603 Member
    Thats tough, I went on blood pressure medication instead lol
  • chivalryder
    chivalryder Posts: 4,391 Member
    Just don't eat anything pre-packaged and you'll be below 2000mg easy.
  • bulbadoof
    bulbadoof Posts: 1,058 Member
    Plain air-popped popcorn has zero sodium. Lots of fiber and very generous portion sizes, too!

    Also, try reading the labels at the grocery store to help you make better decisions between brands and flavors. Cheerios, for example, have very low sodium, where other "healthy" breakfast cereals can have quite a lot.
  • sunnyside1213
    sunnyside1213 Posts: 1,223 Member
    Give up processed foods and add sodium to the things you track.
  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,134 Member
    I'm on a low sodium diet, though my doctor never gave me an actual number. I try to stay under 2300mg per day. Sadly, low/no sodium foods tend to be high in fat. My go-to list: rice, dry pasta, unsalted butter (watch the fat), unsalted nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies. I've switched to Swiss cheese for most of my sandwiches (Cracker Barrel Swiss is 45mg per slice). If you need a sweet, try dark chocolate.
  • JustPeachy044
    JustPeachy044 Posts: 770 Member
    Eat loads of fresh fruits and veggies. Cut out cheese, esp. cottage cheese, or look for low-salt variety.
  • The intake at 1000 mg of sodium seems very low - thats about half the suggested daily limit of 2000 mg to 2200 mg. Many fresh foods have sodium, for example, a medium raw carrot has approximately 60 mg. I agree with the others to stay away from processed or canned foods completely. I watch my intake and have not had a problem of keeping it below 2000 mg but I am eating fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. You may also want to check the sodium content of packaged meat products - many meats are being injected with sodium solutions to increase mass and provide flavor. Grocery chains have been doing this for a few years now - some as high as 15%.
  • piinchi
    piinchi Posts: 172 Member
    I am watching my sodium as well - I have learned from logging that I am eating WAY too much (thank you MFP for keeping me honest...)

    You just have to read labels like a hawk. There's sodium in a lot of things and it can be easy to go up. For example, i was eating two egg whites + 1 tsp Tapatio hot sauce with my breakfast, and that was around 35 calories... but it was also over 200 mg of sodium. If you eat 2,000 that's 10% already! An English muffin may have 80 calories, but over 200 mg of sodium. So if you have egg whites, muffin, and hot sauce (like I was doing) it gets you up to your sodium levels really fast! Meanwhile a bowl of oatmeal may be more calories, but its more filling and much less sodium . Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats have no sodium, or at least a negligible amount.

    Fresh fruits and veggies are obviously lower in sodium, as are basic whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, etc. For flavor, I add herbs like oregano, garlic galore, and slow-cooked onions that get sweet and caramelly. Vinegars and citrus juice can give you brightness and magnification of flavor without adding sodium as well. Our mouths crave umami and richness, so if you can add that "feeling" to your food without salt it can help as well. I make dips and spreads with greek yogurt, its creamy and protein-rich without too much salt.

    Its hard. I have a total "salt tooth". Hopefully I can keep mine down as well. I hope some of these ideas help you too!
  • B_Mindful
    B_Mindful Posts: 38 Member
    I'm on a low-sodium diet, trying to stay under 1500 mg. I'm often under 1000 -- just don't look at today's diary, I had pizza for dinner! :laugh:

    Fresh or frozen vegetables, dried beans, and grains are all naturally low in sodium.
    Most meats are pretty safe as well. Stay away from sausages or pre-seasoned chops or roasts. Also be wary of chicken or pork. Some of the drier cuts (chicken breasts or pork tenderloins, for example) can be treated with a brine, to increase weight and help them cook up moister.
    The best way to avoid salt is to do as much of your own cooking as possible. Make your own pasta sauces, salad dressings and seasoning mixes. Heck, I made my own Worcestershire sauce. Catsup is next.

    Penzy Spices has a nice selection of sodium-free seasoning blends.
    Better Than Boullion has a line of reduced-sodium soup bases.
    Look for 'no salt added' or 'reduced-sodium' canned beans and tomatoes, if you can't get fresh.
    Read labels like a mad man. I will stand in the store and compare labels, looking for the jar of salsa with just a little less salt.

    I could go on. PM me if you are looking for more, or would like to chat.

  • dispatchbug
    dispatchbug Posts: 12 Member
    My biggest shocker was a lot of foods labeled 'no' or 'low' fat / sugar. The salt content in some were almost 50% greater. My doctor recommended under 2,000 for me. Take away - especially Chinese - was my killer (some days I hit 6000-7000mg). Also comparing products, make sure to read portion size. Some pre-mixed spices can have over 100mg of sodium per 1/4tsp. My usual substitutes are fresh garlic, paprika, & fresh/raw hot peppers.

    Good luck x
  • Keiko385
    Keiko385 Posts: 514 Member
    Thanks. I should have said outside of that. I do not do hardly any of that thankfully. I was able to get my food down to 2000 mg but any lower is proving problematic.

    Add sodium to your tracker and find the culprit, its may be something very simple that can be replaced with one that has a lower sodium content. Mine was salad dressing and soups. My work serves a brand of soup that is marketed as a "healthy choice" that was loaded with over a 1000mg of sodium per 8oz cup..I have to save that one as a once in while treat and prepare myself to drink tons of water afterwards
  • When ordering Chinese, ask them to make it WITHOUT MSG. Will cut a lot of the sodium out of that food.
  • If you stick to cooking from real food ingredients (rather than buying packaged meals), you'll be fine. Fruit, veggies, meat, beans, eggs, lentils, yoghurt etc etc etc... Just don't add salt when you're cooking them (which is where I go wrong every time!)
  • Bread is a big culprit for sodium. I don't know where you are, but in the UK Tesco long life bread has the lowest sodium. Cheese is also bad and sliced meat too.
  • jjl0412
    jjl0412 Posts: 278 Member
    Your biggest challenge will be to control the salt in foods you do not process. Like canned, packaged and eating out. Salt and butter flavorings are used by manufacturers and cooks to flavor everthing, regardless of nutrition.

    I carry a small grinder with whatever I want, like maybe red pepper seeds, garlic, Italian spice, etc (1 grinder). I ask for no or low sodium and use the spice to flavor my food to delicious.

    At home most foods, meats. veggies, & fruits have their own natural salts. So use you favorite spice(s) to flavor instead of salt. It really is easier than you think! The No Salt Subs taste crappy to me. Save money and just become a spice guru. Check out Spicebarn.com. Good Luck!