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Top 3 tips for reducing your sodium intake

Nutrition Concern

Reducing salt (sodium) intake is one of the most common recommendations you will hear when newly diagnosed with high blood pressure. That’s because salt causes your body to retain water and this excess water can increase blood pressure. It is recommended to limit your sodium intake to less than 2000mg per day. Here are 3 tips to help you manage your sodium intake.

1. Read nutrition labels

Reading labels is important for managing your sodium intake. When shopping, nutrition labels list the mg of sodium but also the % DV (daily value). Less than 5% DV is considered a little of a nutrient whereas more than 15% DV is considered a lot. Use the % DV to compare similar products to quickly find the lowest sodium options.

2. Focus on fresh

Many fresh foods contain little or no sodium. The biggest culprits are packaged foods, pre-prepared foods (e.g., take-out meals), condiments, processed meats, and some canned foods. These can represent upwards of 70% of your daily sodium intake. To replace salt but maintain flavour, try substituting herbs and spices, as well as lemon or lime juice, vinegars or garlic.

3. Prepare your own food

Preparing your own food as much as possible is your best option, and meal planning in advance can help take the stress out of getting healthy meals ready every day.

Working with a registered dietitian can help you learn how to reduce your sodium intake by identifying the top sources, and learning alternative options, meal ideas and recipes to prepare meals you’ll enjoy.


Article content created based on Hypertension Canada’s 2020 Comprehensive Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, Risk Assessment, and Treatment of Hypertension in Adults and Children.

The information provided is for personal use, reference and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for a Physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific information on personal health matters.

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