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Hidden Salt: High Sodium Foods

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Publication Number: IS1686
View as PDF: IS1686.pdf

One of the first steps in controlling high blood pressure is to reduce the extra sodium in your diet. Two grams (2,000 mg; 2,000 milligrams; 2 g) or less each day is the usual recommendation for persons who have high blood pressure. Regular use of high sodium foods often provides more than 2,000 mg per day, even if no salt is used.

Use this list of common foods and products to see if too much sodium might be part of your high blood pressure problem. If so, ask a registered dietitian or your Extension nutrition agent or health agent to help you learn more about reading food labels and substitutions for high-sodium foods.

Foods High in Sodium

  • Table salt (1 teaspoon provides about 2,000 mg of sodium)
  • Seasonings that contain salt; for example, celery salt, garlic salt, onion salt, season-all, “Lite Salt”
  • Sauerkraut or other vegetables prepared in brine (pickles)
  • Regular canned soups
  • Breads and rolls with salted toppings
  • Potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, saltines, salty crackers, salted popcorn
  • Salty or smoked meats; for example, bacon, bologna, chipped or corned beef, frankfurters, ham, meats koshered by salting, luncheon meats, salt pork, sausage, smoked tongue, canned or pickled meats
  • Salty or smoked fish; for example, anchovies, caviar, salted and dried cod, herring, sardines
  • Processed cheese, cheese spreads, or any cheese such as Roquefort, Camembert, Gorgonzola, or Parmesan
  • Salted nuts, olives, bacon, and bacon fat
  • Regular peanut butter
  • Bouillon, catsup, chili sauces, meat extracts, meat sauces, meat tenderizers, monosodium glutamate, prepared mustard, relishes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce
  • Antacids containing sodium; for example, Alka Seltzer
  • Baking soda toothpaste
  • Fast foods and prepackaged foods
  • Canned or frozen entrees (many times they lower the fat and increase the salt)


Distributed in Mississippi by Dr. Jane M. Clary, associate Extension professor/Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion

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Information Sheet 1686
Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director (POD-09-05)


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