Low-Sodium Shopping List

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Much of the added sodium in the typical American diet comes not from the salt shaker but from processed and restaurant foods. Untangling which foods are low in sodium can be harder than you think, which is why I've created this low-sodium shopping list. With lots of low-sodium foods for inspiration, my list also addresses common themes in packaged foods that shoppers should be aware of, along with explanations as to why certain foods are better low-sodium options than others. Check it out! There's even a downloadable PDF at the bottom of the post!

Fresh Vegetables:
_____ lettuce, dark green
_____ spinach
_____ tomatoes
_____ cucumbers
_____ bell peppers
_____ mushrooms
_____ avocado
_____ carrots
_____ celery
_____ broccoli
_____ zucchini/squash
_____ kale, collards, etc.
_____ cauliflower
_____ cabbage
_____ corn
_____ herbs _______________
_____ onions
_____ garlic
_____ potatoes
_____ other ________________

Fresh Fruits:
_____ berries
_____ bananas
_____ apples
_____ pears
_____ peaches
_____ plums
_____ melons
_____ pineapple
_____ oranges
_____ grapefruit
_____ lemons/limes
_____ grapes
_____ kiwi
_____ other:_________________

Packaged Snacks:
_____ no-salt chips
_____ low-sodium crackers
_____ nuts (roasted, no salt)
_____ dried fruits

Look for these elements in each serving of whole grain cereal:

  • More than 3 g fiber
  • Less than 10 g sugar
  • 5% (or less!) daily value for sodium

_____ shredded wheat
_____ oatmeal (not instant)
_____ other ________________

Choose no-salt-added options:
_____ tomatoes
_____ tomato paste
_____ tomato sauce
_____ pasta sauce
_____ beans
_____ low-fat soup or broth
_____ canned fruit in juice
_____ tuna (packed in water)
_____ canned salmon

Avoid boxed mixes because they have a lot of salt. Instead, buy plain foods and season them with fresh or dried herbs.
_____ beans
_____ lentils
_____ brown rice
_____ macaroni
_____ lasagna/fettuccine/ linguini/spaghetti/penne
_____ barley
_____ walnuts/almonds
_____ vanilla extract
_____ cocoa powder
_____ prune puree
_____ peanut butter
_____ herbs: _________________
_____ spices: ________________

Low-Sodium Bread:
_____ 100% whole wheat bread
_____ whole wheat pitas
_____ low-fat tortillas

Choose no-added salt varieties:
_____ ketchup
_____ light-sodium soy sauce*
_____ balsamic vinegar
_____ olive oil or vegetable oil
_____ vinegar
_____ Worcestershire sauce
_____ low-fat salad dressing*
_____ mayonnaise*
_____ low-sugar jam
_____ light chocolate syrup
*not low in sodium, use sparingly

_____ fat-free, light yogurt
_____ skim milk
_____ nonfat ricotta cheese
_____ Swiss cheese

Plain fruits and veggies are best.
_____ vegetable medley
_____ plain corn
_____ frozen fruits
_____ spinach/kale
_____ winter squash
_____ brussels sprouts
_____ black eyed peas
_____ lima beans

Beware of poultry items that contain brine. Read the label to find low-sodium items.
_____ chicken breast
_____ fish (non-breaded)
_____ lean meat

PDF Handout: Low-Sodium Shopping List

By Judy Doherty, BS, PC II

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