Two Gram Sodium Diet

(2,000 Milligrams)

What Is Sodium?

Sodium (salt) is a mineral found in many foods. We need sodium for important bodily functions such as muscle contraction and water balance. On a two gram (2,000 milligrams [mg]) sodium diet you will be limiting the amount of high-sodium foods that you eat.

Why Limit Sodium Intake?

A low-sodium diet can prevent or lower high blood pressure, and prevent and improve edema (water retention), which can occur with conditions such as heart failure and kidney disease. The foods highest in sodium include table salt (about 50% sodium), processed foods, condiments, seasonings, convenience foods, and preserved foods. Just one teaspoon of salt has 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium. Examples of processed foods include canned foods, frozen dinners, snack foods, packaged starchy foods (seasoned rice, instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese), baking mixes, deli meats and cheeses, sausages, and cured or smoked meats.

Food Choices on a Two Gram Sodium Diet

Food Category Foods Recommended Foods to Avoid
  • Breads and rolls without salted tops, muffins
  • Ready-to-eat and cooked cereals
  • Unsalted crackers and breadsticks
  • Low-sodium or homemade breadcrumbs or stuffing
  • All rice and pastas
  • Breads, rolls, and crackers with salted tops
  • Quick breads, self-rising flour, and biscuit mixes
  • Regular bread crumbs
  • Instant hot cereals
  • Commercially prepared rice, pasta, or stuffing mixes
  • Most fresh, frozen, and low-sodium canned vegetables
  • Low-sodium and salt-free vegetable juices
  • Regular canned vegetables and juices, including sauerkraut and pickled vegetables
  • Frozen vegetables with sauces
  • Commercially prepared potato and vegetable mixes
  • Most fresh, frozen, and canned fruits
  • All fruit juices
  • Fruits processed with salt or sodium
  • All milk, but limit to a total of 2 cups daily
  • All yogurt
  • Most low-sodium cheeses (including ricotta, cream cheese, and cottage cheese)
  • Malted and chocolate milk
  • Regular and processed cheese, cheese spreads, and sauces
  • Buttermilk (no more than 1 cup per week)
Meats and Beans
  • Any fresh or frozen beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, and some shellfish
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Low-sodium peanut butter
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Any smoked, cured, salted, or canned meat, fish, or poultry (including bacon, chipped beef, cold cuts, frankfurters, sausages, sardines, and anchovies)
  • Frozen breaded meats
  • Salted nuts
Fats and Oils
  • Low-sodium or unsalted butter and margarine
  • All plain oils, low-sodium salad dressings
  • Oils mixed with other, high-sodium ingredients (salad dressing)
Snacks and Condiments
  • Low-sodium or unsalted versions of broths, soups, soy sauce, condiments, and snack foods
  • Pepper, herbs, and spices; vinegar, lemon, or lime juice
  • Broth, soups, gravies, and sauces made from instant mixes or other high-sodium ingredients
  • Salted snack foods, olives
  • Meat tenderizers, seasoning salt, and most flavored vinegars
  • Low-sodium carbonated beverages
  • Commercially softened water

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