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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Nutrition and Your Health:
Dietary Guidelines for Americans

U.S. Department of Agriculture


Table E-23. Strategies for Reducing Sodium Intake

  • At the store
    • Choose fresh, plain frozen, or canned vegetables without added salt most often; they are low in salt.
    • Choose fresh or frozen fish, shellfish, poultry, and meat most often. They are lower in salt than most canned and processed forms.
    • Read the Nutrition Facts Label to compare the amount of sodium in processed foods such as frozen dinners, packaged mixes, cereals, cheese, breads, soups, salad dressings, and sauces. The amount in different types and brands often varies widely.
    • Look for labels that say low sodium. They contain 140 mg (about 5% of the Daily Value) or less of sodium per serving.
    • Ask your grocer or supermarket to offer more low-sodium foods.
  • Cooking and eating at home
    • If you salt foods in cooking or at the table, add small amounts. Learn to use spices and herbs, rather than salt, to enhance the flavor of food.
    • Go easy on condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and olives; they can add a lot of salt to your food.
    • Leave the salt shaker in a cupboard.
  • Eating out
    • Choose plain foods like grilled or roasted entrees, baked potatoes, and salad with oil and vinegar. Batter-fried foods tend to be high in salt, as do combination dishes like stews or pasta with sauce.
    • Ask to have no salt added when the food is prepared.
  • Any time
    • Choose fruits and vegetables often.
    • Drink water freely. It is usually very low in sodium. Check the label on bottled water for sodium content.
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Table of Contents

A. Executive Summary

B. Introduction

C. Methodology

D. Science Base
  • Section 1. Aiming To Meet Nutrient Intake Recommendations
  • Text
  • Tables
  • Section 2. Energy
  • Section 3. Discretionary Calories
  • Section 4. Fats
  • Section 5. Carbohydrates
  • Section 6. Selected Food Groups
  • Section 7. Fluid and Electrolytes
  • Section 8. Ethanol
  • Section 9. Food Safety
  • Section 10. Major Conclusions

    E.  Translating the Science into Dietary Guidance
  • Text
  • Tables and Figures
  • F.  Research Recommendations

    G. Appendices
  • Glossary
  • Description of USDA Analyses
  • Summary Tables from Systematic Review
  • IOM Tables
    (Institute of Medicine tables referenced in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report are available at
  • History of Dietary Guidelines
  • Summary of Recommendations
  • Biographical Sketches of DGAC Members
  • Acknowledgements

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