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    Heart Failure and a Low-Salt Diet

    People with heart failure may improve their symptoms by reducing the amount of salt (sodium) in their diet. Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. Eating too much salt causes the body to keep or retain too much water, worsening the fluid build-up associated with heart failure.

    Following a low-salt diet helps control high blood pressure and swelling (edema), as well as decrease breathing difficulties for people who have heart failure. If you have heart failure, you should consume no more than 2,000 mg (2 grams) of salt per day, and less than 1,500 mg if possible.

    This guide will help you recognize which foods to stay away from, give you helpful cooking tips, and help you make healthful food choices when dining out.

    Salt Content of Food

    The following table illustrates approximately how much salt certain foods contain.

    Food

    Serving Size

    Milligrams salt

    Protein

    Bacon

    1 medium slice

    155

    Chicken (dark meat)

    3.5 oz roasted

    87

    Chicken (light meat)

    3.5 oz roasted

    77

    Egg, fried

    1 large

    162

    Egg, scrambled with milk

    1 large

    171

    Dried beans, peas, or lentils

    1 cup

    4

    Haddock

    3 oz cooked

    74

    Halibut

    3 oz cooked

    59

    Ham (roasted)

    3.5 oz

    1,300 to 1,500

    Hamburger (lean)

    3.5 oz broiled medium

    77

    Hot dog, beef

    1 medium

    585

    Peanuts, dry roasted

    1 oz

    228

    Pork loin, roasted

    3.5 oz

    65

    Roast lamb leg

    3.5 oz

    65

    Roast veal leg

    3.5 oz

    68

    Salmon

    3 oz

    50

    Shellfish

    3 oz

    100 to 325

    Shrimp

    3 oz

    190

    Spareribs, braised

    3.5 oz

    93

    Steak, T-bone

    3.5 oz

    66

    Tuna, canned in spring water

    3 oz. chunk white

    300

    Turkey (dark meat)

    3.5 oz roasted

    76

    Turkey (light meat)

    3.5 oz roasted

    63

    Dairy Products

    American cheese

    1 oz

    443

    Buttermilk, salt added

    1 cup

    260

    Cheddar cheese

    1 oz

    175

    Cottage cheese, low-fat

    1 cup

    918

    Milk, whole

    1 cup

    120

    Milk, skim or 1%

    1 cup

    125

    Swiss cheese

    1 oz

    75

    Yogurt, plain

    1 cup

    115

    Vegetables and vegetable juices

    Asparagus

    6 spears

    10

    Avocado

    1/2 medium

    10

    Beans, white cooked

    1 cup

    4

    Beans, green

    1 cup

    4

    Beets

    1 cup

    84

    Broccoli, raw

    1/2 cup

    12

    Broccoli, cooked

    1/2 cup

    20

    Carrot, raw

    1 medium

    25

    Carrot, cooked

    1/2 cup

    52

    Celery

    1 stalk raw

    35

    Corn (sweet, no butter/salt)

    1/2 cup boiled

    14

    Cucumber

    1/2 cup sliced

    1

    Eggplant, raw

    1 cup

    2

    Eggplant, cooked

    1 cup

    4

    Lettuce

    1 leaf

    2

    Lima beans

    1 cup

    5

    Mushrooms

    1/2 cup (raw or cooked)

    1 to 2

    Mustard greens

    1/2 cup chopped

    12

    Onion, chopped

    1/2 cup (raw or cooked)

    2 to 3

    Peas

    1 cup

    4

    Potato

    1 baked

    7

    Radishes

    10

    11

    Spinach, raw

    1/2 cup

    22

    Spinach, cooked

    1/2 cup

    63

    Squash, acorn

    1/2 cup

    4

    Sweet potato

    1 small

    12

    Tomato

    1 medium

    11

    Tomato juice, canned

    3/4 cup

    660

    Fruits and fruit juices

    Apple

    1 medium

    1

    Apple juice

    1 cup

    7

    Apricots

    3 medium

    1

    Apricots (dried)

    10 halves

    3

    Banana

    1 medium

    1

    Cantaloupe

    1/2 cup chopped

    14

    Dates

    10 medium

    2

    Grapes

    1 cup

    2

    Grape juice

    1 cup

    7

    Grapefruit

    1/2 medium

    0

    Grapefruit juice

    1 cup

    3

    Orange

    1 medium

    1

    Orange juice

    1 cup

    2

    Peach

    1

    0

    Prunes (dried)

    10

    3

    Raisins

    1/3 cup

    6

    Strawberries

    1 cup

    2

    Watermelon

    1 cup

    3

    Breads and grains

    Bran flakes

    3/4 cup

    220

    Bread, whole wheat

    1 slice

    159

    Bread, white

    1 slice

    123

    Bun, hamburger

    1

    241

    Cooked cereal (instant)

    1 packet

    250

    Corn flakes

    1 cup

    290

    English muffin

    1/2

    182

    Pancake

    1 (7-inch round)

    431

    Rice, white long grain

    1 cup

    4

    Shredded wheat

    1 biscuit

    0

    Spaghetti

    1 cup

    7

    Waffle

    1 frozen

    235

    Convenience foods

    Canned soups

    1 cup

    600 to 1,300

    Canned and frozen main dishes

    8 oz

    500 to 2,570

    Note: These are salt content ranges -- the salt content in certain food items may vary.

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