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    Heart Failure and a Low-Salt Diet

    Sodium Content of Food continued...

    Once you know how much sodium foods have, the next step is building a diet around that knowledge. Here’s some information to get you started.


    You should have two or three servings of protein each day. But how much is a serving?

    • 2-3 ounces of fresh or frozen fish, shellfish, meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork), or poultry
    • 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or peas
    • 1/2 cup low-salt canned fish (such as salmon or tuna)
    • 1 low-sodium frozen dinner (less than 600 milligrams of sodium per meal; limit to one per day)
    • 1 egg

    Dairy Products

    Two or more servings a day is the sweet spot here. Examples of a serving include:

    • 2-3 ounces of low-sodium cheese
    • 1 cup milk (fat-free, 1%, 2%, or whole)
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium cottage cheese
    • 1 cup soy milk

    Vegetables and Fruits

    Your goal here is five servings per day. One could contain:

    • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, frozen, or canned fruit
    • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, frozen, or no-salt added canned vegetables
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium tomato juice or vegetable juice
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium tomato sauce

    Bread and Grains

    You should get six or more servings of these every day. One equals:

    • 1 slice low-sodium bread, 1 small low-sodium roll, 1/2 low-sodium bagel
    • 1/2 cup pasta (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni)
    • 1/2 cup rice
    • Low-sodium crackers (read label for serving size)

    Sweets and Snacks

    Everyone needs a snack every now and then. Make sure it’s every now and then, and choose:

    • 2 1/2 ounces unsalted nuts
    • 1 slice angel food cake
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, and other snacks
    • 1 tablespoon jelly or honey
    • 1 cup sherbet, sorbet, or Italian ice
    • 1 ice pop
    • 3 fig bars or gingersnaps
    • 8-10 jelly beans; 3 pieces hard candy

    Fats, Oils and Condiments

    Use these as much as you can.

    • Vinegar
    • Lemon juice
    • Herbs and spices without salt

    Use these only when you have to.

    • Olive and canola oils
    • Low-sodium butter and margarine
    • Low-sodium soups
    • Low-sodium salad dressing
    • Homemade gravy without salt
    • Low-sodium broth or bouillon
    • Low-sodium catsup
    • Low-sodium mustard
    • Low-sodium sauce mixes

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