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Painless Ways to Lose the Salt From Your Diet

Stick to the "real" foods and you should be OK

You don't have to count milligrams of sodium as if they were diamonds. Nor do you have to stay away from the saltshaker on your table—if you stick with "real" foods.

What do we mean by real?

Foods that are close to their natural state, such as fresh vegetables and fruits; unadorned meats, poultry, and fish; and unaltered grains and cereals. It's when foods are processed taht the sodium gets poured on—the manufacturer's way of assuring we'll like the taste.

Just compare the differences:

Natural Food Sodium (mg)   Processed Food Sodium (mg)
Cooked cereal, rice, pasta, unsalted, 1/2 cup 0–5
vs
Ready-to-eat cereal, 1 cup 100–360
Fresh or frozen vegetables, 1/2 cup 1–70
vs
Canned or frozen vegetables
with sauce, 1/2 cup
140–460
Canned diced tomatoes, no salt added, 1/2 cup 20
vs
or
Canned diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup
Canned tomato juice, 3/4 cup
200
820
Low-fat milk, 1 cup 120
vs
or
 
Natural cheeses, 1 1/2 oz
Processed cheeses
(American, etc.), 1 1/2 oz
110–450
600
 
Unsalted peanuts, 1/3 cup 0–5
vs
Salted peanuts, 1/3 cup 120
Cooked dried or frozen beans, 1/2 cup 0–5
vs
Canned beans, 1/2 cup 400
Fresh meat, poultry, or fish, 3 oz 30–90
vs
or
Canned water-packed tuna, 3 oz
Lean roasted ham, 3 oz
250–350
1,020

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

 
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