Lower Sodium (Salt) Food Choices

Food Group Foods Lower in Sodium
(Less than 120mg per serving)
Foods Higher in Sodium
(More than 120mg per serving)
Milk and Alternatives

(2-3 servings each day)

Milk, yogurt, fortified soy beverage

Dry, unsalted cottage cheese

Chocolate milk (unless homemade with cocoa), milkshakes, malted milk

Regular hard cheese

Processed cheese (slices, spreads and sauces), ricotta, cottage cheese



Grain Products

(6-8 servings each day)

Grains cooked without salt (rice, barley, oats, quinoa)

Unsalted cooked cereal, pasta and noodles

Homemade quick breads without salt or baking soda (muffins, banana bread, cornbread)

Crackers and breadsticks with unsalted tops, unsalted breadcrumbs

Most commercial breads

Salt-topped or coated breads, rolls, and crackers, self-rising flour and biscuit mixes, salted breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs, home made quick breads made with salt

Most dry cereals

Commercially seasoned pasta or rice mixes, commercial bread stuffing

Instant hot cereals, pancakes, and waffles

Meat Alternatives

(2-3 servings each day)

Any fresh meat, poultry, fish or shellfish

Low sodium canned fish and beans (or regular if drained and rinsed)

Eggs and egg substitutes

Unsalted nuts, seeds, and unsalted nut/seed butter

Cooked dried peas, beans and lentils


Any meat, poultry, fish or shellfish that has been salted, smoked, cured, koshered, marinated, pickled, canned or commercially breaded

Frozen meat, poultry, fish and shellfish can be high in salt. Check the label.

Processed meats: bacon, cold cuts, ham, hot dogs, sausage, imitation seafood

Sardines, anchovies

Pickled eggs

Salted nuts and seeds and their butters

Vegetables and Fruit

(7-10 servings each day)

Fresh and frozen vegetables

All fruit including fresh, frozen, canned and juices

Low sodium or no sodium added canned vegetables

Regular tomato paste

Low sodium vegetable juices

Regular canned vegetables, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, and others prepared in brine (pickles, olives)

Frozen vegetables in sauces

Regular vegetable or tomato juices

Instant and processed potato or vegetable mixes


Low sodium canned broth or bouillon

Low sodium broth or bouillon cubes/granules

Homemade broth and soup made with low sodium ingredients

Regular canned soup, broth, or bouillon

Many low sodium soups (check label)

Regular broth cubes or powders

Oils and Fats

Vegetable oils, margarine or butter

Unsalted salad dressings

Dips made with dried soup mixes or processed cheese

Regular salad dressings

Other Foods

Onions, garlic, ginger, horseradish

Pepper, herbs, spices, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, hot pepper sauce, salt substitute made from potassium chloride, with doctor's approval (NuSalt®, NoSalt®, Salt-It®, Spike®).

Salt substitutes made from herb/spice blends (e.g. Mrs. Dash®)

Low-sodium condiments (low sodium ketchup, low sodium barbecue sauce)

Homemade salsa

Unsalted snack foods (popcorn, pretzels, tortilla chips, potato chips)

Carbonated beverages

Sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly

Dry cocoa powder

Salt (Sea salt, rock salt, kosher salt)

Salt substitutes containing salt (Half Salt®)

Any seasoning with salt (garlic salt, celery salt, onion salt, seasoned salt)

Meat tenderizers, monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Regular soy sauce, sodium-reduced soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce

Most processed sauces (barbecue, regular and reduced sodium teriyaki, and steak sauces)

Canned or dried gravy

Regular condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish)


Instant pudding mixes

Cake and pie mixes

Additional Resources

HealthLinkBC www.HealthLinkBC.ca Medically approved non-emergency health information and advice.

HealthLinkBC File #68b Lifestyle Steps to Lower Your Blood Pressure www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/lower-your-blood-pressure

Dietitian Services Fact Sheets available by mail (call 8-1-1) or at www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthy-eating:

Last updated: October 2012

These resources are provided as sources of additional information believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of publication and should not be considered an endorsement of any information, service, product or company.

Distributed by:

Dietitian Services at HealthLinkBC (formerly Dial-A-Dietitian), providing free nutrition information and resources for BC residents and health professionals. Go to Healthy Eating or call 8-1-1 (anywhere in BC). Interpreters are available in over 130 languages.

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