Counting milligrams of sodium

You can limit sodium in your diet by counting the milligrams of sodium in everything you eat. You will need to read food labels and look up the sodium content of foods that do not have labels. This method allows more flexibility in your diet. If you eat one high-sodium food, you can balance it with very low-sodium foods during the rest of the day.

You can learn to choose lower-sodium foods by comparing food labels for the sodium content. For example, compare the following foods:

  • Tomatoes, canned, low-sodium, 0.5 cup: 15 mg to 30 mg sodium
  • Tomatoes, canned, 0.5 cup: 220 mg to 350 mg sodium

If you choose foods that are canned without sodium, you will have room in your diet to include other foods you like that might have more sodium. In the example above, if you chose fresh tomatoes instead of canned, the sodium content would be even less (one medium tomato has 11 mg of sodium).

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

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