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What foods should I avoid?

Many foods, especially those that are processed, have a high sodium content.

  • Breads – Biscuits, prepared mixes (pancake, muffin, cornbread), instant hot cereals, many boxed cold cereals, self-rising flour
  • Crackers and snack foods – Salted crackers and snack items (chips, pretzels, popcorn), regular peanut butter, prepared dips/spreads, salted nuts or seeds
  • Pasta, rice, and potatoes – Macaroni and cheese mix; rice, noodle, or spaghetti mixes; canned spaghetti; frozen lasagna; instant potatoes; seasoned potato mixes
  • Beans and peas – Beans or peas prepared with ham, bacon, salt pork, or bacon grease; most canned beans
  • Meats and proteins – Salted, smoked, canned, spiced, and cured meat, poultry, or fish; bacon; ham; sausage; lunch meats; hot dogs; breaded frozen meat, fish, or poultry; frozen dinners; pizza
  • Fruits and vegetables – Regular canned vegetables and vegetable juices, regular tomato sauce and tomato paste, olives, pickles, relishes, sauerkraut, frozen vegetables in butter or sauces, crystallized and glazed fruit, maraschino cherries, fruit dried with sodium sulfite
  • Dairy products – Buttermilk, Dutch-processed chocolate milk, processed cheese slices and spreads, most cottage cheese, aged or natural cheeses
  • Fats and oils – Prepared salad dressings, bacon, salt pork, fat back, salted butter or margarine
  • Soups – Regular canned or prepared soups, stews, broths, or bouillon; packaged and frozen soups
  • Desserts – Packaged baked goods
  • Beverages – Softened water; carbonated beverages with sodium or salt added; regular tomato juice (V8); ask about alcoholic beverages
  • Condiments – Table salt, lite salt, bouillon cubes, meat extract, taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, tartar sauce, ketchup, chili sauce, cooking sherry and wine, onion salt, mustard, garlic salt, soy sauce, tamari, meat flavoring or tenderizer, steak and barbecue sauce, seasoned salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), Dutch-processed cocoa