How to Follow a Low-sodium Diet
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What is a Low-Sodium Diet?

A low-sodium diet includes no more than 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. That is the same as 2 to 3 grams of sodium a day. To give you an idea of how much that is, 1 teaspoon of salt = approximately 2,300 mg sodium.

People with mild heart failure (no or mild symptoms with vigorous or moderate exercise) are usually asked to limit their sodium intake to 3,000 mg per day.

People with moderate to severe heart failure (symptoms with light exercise, household chores or at rest) are usually asked to limit their sodium intake to 2,000 mg per day.

Check with your health care provider on the sodium limit that is best for you.

Cutting Back on Salt

If you need to limit the amount of salt and sodium in your diet, here are some suggestions from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:

  • Read the food labels to help you pick foods lower in sodium.

  • Pay attention to the serving size listed on the label. If you eat two cups of a food, but the serving size is one cup, you'll need to double the amount of sodium listed.

  • Look for foods that use one of these terms on the label: sodium-free, very low sodium, low sodium, reduced sodium, light in sodium or unsalted.

Measurement Key

Ounce = oz.    Milligram = mg

Tablespoon = tbsp.    Teaspoon = tsp.
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