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8 Ways to Eat Healthy

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Compare Sodium in Foods Like Soup and Frozen Meals and Choose Foods with Less Sodium

Do you know how much sodium, or salt, is in the foods you eat? You’ll be surprised! Even if you never add salt to your food, you may be eating too much salt. Most of the sodium we eat is found in prepared and packaged foods we buy.

Healthy adults should keep their daily sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams (mg), which is the amount in about 1 teaspoon of table salt.

Some groups should limit their sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day:

  • Adults over 50 years old
  • African Americans (children and adults)
  • People who have high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, or kidney disease

Try these tips to reduce your sodium intake:

  • Prepare the foods you eat yourself to control the amount of sodium in your food.
  • Choose foods that are lower in sodium, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and peas, eggs, and plain meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • When shopping, limit high-sodium prepared and packaged foods such as snack chips; bacon, sausage, hot dogs, beef jerky, and lunch meats; canned and frozen entrees and meals like chili and ravioli; and canned and packaged soups and mixes.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label to compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, canned vegetables, and frozen meals—and choose the foods with lower amounts. Look for “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” and “no salt added” on food packages.
  • Use herbs, spices, lemon, vinegar, and plain onion and garlic to flavor foods instead of salt.