Foods to Avoid on a Low Sodium Diet


Low sodium diets may benefit those with high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and swelling of the legs due to water retention. Low sodium diets require the elimination of certain foods. Read on to find out what to avoid while on a low sodium diet.

Meat and Nuts

Cut down on smoked, cured, salted, or canned meat including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, scrapple, cold cuts, sardines, caviar, and anchovies. You should also refrain from eating frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza, and canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili. Salted nuts also contain a lot of sodium.


Buttermilk, cheese, cheese spreads and sauces, and cottage cheese are all high in sodium. Macaroni and cheese mix is another high sodium selection to avoid.

Breads and Grains

Breads and rolls with salted tops are high in sodium and should be avoided. You should cut quick breads; self-rising flour; and biscuit, pancake, and waffle mixes from your diet. Pizza, biscuits, corn bread, bread crumb coatings, croutons, and salted crackers—as well as prepackaged mixes for potatoes, rice, pasta, and stuffing—are all high in sodium also. Instant hot cereals can also contain high amounts of sodium. Overall, the more processed a grain is, the more likely it is to be high in sodium.

Fruits and Vegetables

Canned vegetables and vegetable juices, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables are very high in sodium and should be avoided. Pasta and tomato sauces that are not homemade are also sodium heavyweights. Relishes, maraschino cherries, and dried fruits should also be checked for their sodium contents.

Other Foods to Avoid

Canned soup, broth, and bouillon, as well as bottled salad dressings, salted butter or margarine, and instant pudding and cake mixes contain high levels of sodium. Regular peanut butter, party spreads and dips can also ruin your low sodium diet. TV dinners, whether they have meat in them or not, tend to be high in sodium. Additionally, you should avoid adding salt to other foods while eating or cooking.


Diet beverages, such as diet soda, contain sodium, as does softened water.

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