Low Salt Diet

General Information:

A 2 gram sodium low salt diet means eating foods that don’t have a lot of salt in them. Sodium is found in salt and can make your blood pressure rise if you eat too much. Many foods have sodium in them. You should limit or not eat the foods below if you have high blood pressure or heart failure. Liver problems or kidney disease are other reasons to carefully limit sodium in foods you eat. In cirrhosis salt causes the fluid to increase in the abdomen.


Do not eat the high sodium foods below. Limit milk and yogurt to 2 cups (16 ounces) a day. You should not eat more than 3 ounces of regular cheese a week. Regular cheeses have salt in them. Do not add salt to food during cooking or eating. Read labels on all packaged foods to check for sodium. You need to eat less than 2000 milligrams (mg), or 2 grams of sodium a day. Many stores now carry foods low in sodium such as cheese, soup, crackers, bread, salad dressing, and snack chips. If you buy frozen or canned foods, choose low sodium or low salt brands. Only buy store bought frozen meals with less than 400 mg of sodium for each serving. Check with your care giver before using salt-free seasonings. The lists below refer to regular foods and are not low in sodium.

High Sodium Foods

Bouillon Buttermilk Cocoa mixes
Malted milk Softened water
Bacon Dips made with regular cheese Salad dressings
Salt pork Salted butter or margarine

Meats/Protein Foods
Anchovies Blue cheese Canned tuna/salmon/sardines
Caviar Chipped beef Cold cuts/deli meats
Cottage cheese Sausage Ham
Hot dogs Lox Processed cheeses
Salted or smoked meats & fish

Breads & Starches
Canned soups Chips: potato, corn, tortilla Instant hot cereals
Pancake, biscuit, waffle mixes Pretzels Salted popcorn
Saltines Stuffing mixes
Breads and crackers with salted tops
Boxed potato, rice and casserole mixes

Canned vegetables with salt Dill pickles Sauerkraut
Pickled beets, onions, carrots

Baking powder MSG Sea salt
Baking soda Olives Self-rising flour
Barbeque sauces Pickling, kosher or rock salt Soup mixes
Catsup Soy & teriyaki sauce Prepared mustard & horseradish
Consomme Relishes Steak & chili sauces
Garlic/onion salt Salsa & hot sauce Table salt
Gravy/sauce mixes Salt substitutes Tartar sauce
Meat tenderizers/sauces Salted nuts or seeds