A main source of sodium is table salt. The average American eats five or more teaspoons of salt each day. This is about 20 times as much as the body needs. Sodium is found naturally in foods, but a lot of it is added during processing and preparation. Many foods that do not taste salty may still be high in sodium. Large amounts of sodium can be hidden in canned, processed and convenience foods. And sodium can be found in many foods that are served at fast food restaurants. Sodium controls fluid balance in our bodies and maintains blood volume and blood pressure. Eating too much sodium may raise blood pressure and cause fluid retention, which could lead to swelling of the legs and feet or other health issues. When limiting sodium in your diet, a common target is to eat less than 2, milligrams of sodium per day. Continue reading.
Most people eat much more sodium salt than they need. This can lead to health problems like high blood pressure. To lower the amount of sodium in your diet, follow these tips when you go food shopping. Take the list below with you the next time you go food shopping to help you choose foods that are lower in sodium. Compare labels to find products with less sodium. Choose fresh or frozen seafood, poultry, and meats instead of processed options. Some meat, poultry, and seafood has added sodium. Be sure to check the label on cheese, which can be high in sodium. Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products. This information on low sodium foods was adapted from materials from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U. Department of Agriculture. Reviewed by: The U.
Sodium is a mineral found naturally in foods and also added to foods. Sodium plays an important role in maintaining normal fluid balance in the body. A low-sodium diet is important to follow in order to control your heart failure symptoms and prevent future heart problems. Learn to read food labels. Use the label information on food packages to help you make the best low-sodium selections. Food labels are standardized by the U. Nutrition labels and an ingredient list are required on most foods, so you can make the best selection for a healthy lifestyle.