2 Gram Low Sodium Diet

A 2 gram sodium diet restricts the amount of sodium in the diet to no more than 2 g or 2000 mg daily. Limiting the amount of sodium is often used to help lower blood pressure. It is important if you have heart, liver, or kidney problems. Many foods contain sodium for flavor and sometimes as a preservative. When the amount of sodium in a diet needs to be low, it is important to know what to look for when choosing foods and drinks. The following includes some information and guidelines to help make it easier for you to adapt to a low sodium diet.

QUICK TIPS

  • Do not add salt to food.

  • Avoid convenience items and fast food.

  • Choose unsalted snack foods.

  • Buy lower sodium products, often labeled as "lower sodium" or "no salt added."

  • Check food labels to learn how much sodium is in 1 serving.

  • When eating at a restaurant, ask that your food be prepared with less salt or none, if possible.

READING FOOD LABELS FOR SODIUM INFORMATION

The nutrition facts label is a good place to find how much sodium is in foods. Look for products with no more than 500 to 600 mg of sodium per meal and no more than 150 mg per serving.

Remember that 2 g = 2000 mg.

The food label may also list foods as:

  • Sodium-free: Less than 5 mg in a serving.

  • Very low sodium: 35 mg or less in a serving.

  • Low-sodium: 140 mg or less in a serving.

  • Light in sodium: 50% less sodium in a serving. For example, if a food that usually has 300 mg of sodium is changed to become light in sodium, it will have 150 mg of sodium.

  • Reduced sodium: 25% less sodium in a serving. For example, if a food that usually has 400 mg of sodium is changed to reduced sodium, it will have 300 mg of sodium.

CHOOSING FOODS

Grains

  • Avoid: Salted crackers and snack items. Some cereals, including instant hot cereals. Bread stuffing and biscuit mixes. Seasoned rice or pasta mixes.

  • Choose: Unsalted snack items. Low-sodium cereals, oats, puffed wheat and rice, shredded wheat. English muffins and bread. Pasta.

Meats

  • Avoid: Salted, canned, smoked, spiced, pickled meats, including fish and poultry. Bacon, ham, sausage, cold cuts, hot dogs, anchovies.

  • Choose: Low-sodium canned tuna and salmon. Fresh or frozen meat, poultry, and fish.

Dairy

  • Avoid: Processed cheese and spreads. Cottage cheese. Buttermilk and condensed milk. Regular cheese.

  • Choose: Milk. Low-sodium cottage cheese. Yogurt. Sour cream. Low-sodium cheese.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Avoid: Regular canned vegetables. Regular canned tomato sauce and paste. Frozen vegetables in sauces. Olives. Pickles. Relishes. Sauerkraut.

  • Choose: Low-sodium canned vegetables. Low-sodium tomato sauce and paste. Frozen or fresh vegetables. Fresh and frozen fruit.

Condiments

  • Avoid: Canned and packaged gravies. Worcestershire sauce. Tartar sauce. Barbecue sauce. Soy sauce. Steak sauce. Ketchup. Onion, garlic, and table salt. Meat flavorings and tenderizers.

  • Choose: Fresh and dried herbs and spices. Low-sodium varieties of mustard and ketchup. Lemon juice. Tabasco sauce. Horseradish.

SAMPLE 2 GRAM SODIUM MEAL PLAN

Breakfast / Sodium (mg)

  • 1 cup low-fat milk / 143 mg

  • 2 slices whole-wheat toast / 270 mg

  • 1 tbs heart-healthy margarine / 153 mg

  • 1 hard-boiled egg / 139 mg

  • 1 small orange / 0 mg

Lunch / Sodium (mg)

  • 1 cup raw carrots / 76 mg

  • ½ cup hummus / 298 mg

  • 1 cup low-fat milk / 143 mg

  • ½ cup red grapes / 2 mg

  • 1 whole-wheat pita bread / 356 mg

Dinner / Sodium (mg)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat pasta / 2 mg

  • 1 cup low-sodium tomato sauce / 73 mg

  • 3 oz lean ground beef / 57 mg

  • 1 small side salad (1 cup raw spinach leaves, ½ cup cucumber, ¼ cup yellow bell pepper) with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp red wine vinegar / 25 mg

Snack / Sodium (mg)

  • 1 container low-fat vanilla yogurt / 107 mg

  • 3 graham cracker squares / 127 mg

Nutrient Analysis

  • Calories: 2033

  • Protein: 77 g

  • Carbohydrate: 282 g

  • Fat: 72 g

  • Sodium: 1971 mg