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How to Reduce Your Salt Intake

Limiting your daily salt intake can help prevent major diseases. Here's how to cut back.


  • Step 1: Read labels Read labels when you shop. If salt or sodium chloride is one of the first ingredients listed on the label, don’t buy the product.
  • Step 2: Eliminate high-sodium foods Avoid high-sodium foods such as chips, salted nuts, and dressings. If you must eat them, try the low-sodium versions.
  • Step 3: Avoid processed foods Buy fresh or plain frozen vegetables. Most processed foods have salt added for taste and as a preservative. When buying canned vegetables, look for ones labeled "no salt added."
  • TIP: Processed foods account for most of the sodium and salt we consume.
  • Step 4: Rinse canned foods Rinse any canned foods that do contain sodium under running water to get rid of excess salt.
  • Step 5: Reduce salt when cooking Flavor foods with herbs, vinegar, and lemons instead of bouillon cubes and sauces, which are high in sodium.
  • Step 6: Don’t add salt Don’t put additional salt on your food. Remove the salt shaker from the dinner table.
  • TIP: Kosher salt, sea salt, garlic salt, onion salt, and many prepared spices have no less sodium than table salt.
  • Step 7: Eat at accommodating restaurants Go to restaurants that will prepare your food with low- or no-salt.
  • Step 8: Avoid fast food Don’t eat fast food. Fast food is notoriously high in salt.
  • FACT: Among the many uses for salt other than in your diet are soothing bee stings, repelling fleas, and cleaning cutting boards.

You Will Need

  • Low- or no-sodium packaged food
  • Herbs
  • Vinegar
  • Lemons

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