Adults and children over age 14 should eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Children younger than age 14 may need to eat even less sodium each day based on their sex and age. If you have high blood pressure, you may need to limit sodium even more. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about what amount of sodium is right for you or your child.
Try these shopping and cooking tips to help you choose and prepare foods that are lower in sodium:
Read food labels and choose products that have less sodium for the same serving size.
Choose low-sodium, reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added products.
Choose fresh, frozen, or no-salt-added foods instead of pre-seasoned, sauce-marinated, brined, or processed meats, poultry, and vegetables.
Eat at home more often so you can cook food from scratch, which will allow you to control the amount of sodium in your meals.
Flavor foods with herbs and spices instead of salt.
When cooking, limit your use of premade sauces, mixes, and instant products such as rice, noodles, and ready-made pasta.
For more ways to limit your sodium, visit Living With the DASH Eating Plan or print this handout, Tips to Reduce Salt and Sodium.