Most of us consume around 6 to 18 grams (equivalent to 1 to 3 teaspoons) of salt every day.  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it’s important to limit your sodium intake to help prevent or control high blood pressure.

Recommendations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest limiting your sodium consumption to less than 2,300 mg a day.  The AHA (American Heart Association) takes a more cautious approach and recommends no more than 1,500 mg a day.

How do you measure sodium?

  • 28 grams = one ounce
  • 1 gram = 1,000 milligrams
  • 5.5 grams of sodium = 1 teaspoon

High sodium foods

Although most foods include sodium the majority of sodium is added during the processing of prepared and prepackaged food products.  Here are some examples:

  • Meats – Bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, cold cuts (bologna), Canadian bacon, corned beef, hot dogs, Polish and Italian sausages
  • Fish –  Canned tuna, salmon, sardines; commercially frozen, prebreaded, or smoked fish; canned shellfish
  • Canned foods – Vegetables, soups, vegetable and tomato juices
  • Prepared or premixed products – Boxed macaroni and cheese, potato mixes, TV dinners, frozen entrees
  • Snacks – Salted crackers, pretzels, potato chips, commercially-prepared baked goods (for example, cookies and doughnuts)
  • Other foods, such as olives, pickles, commercially-prepared salad dressings, soy and steak sauces, cheeses

There are many tasty alternatives now available with lower sodium content.  Try adding fresh spices and herbs for a tasty surprise!  Salt substitutes are also available.  When you purchase food items, don’t forget to look for NA or NACl, or sodium or sodium chloride on the label.  This will indicate sodium is in the food and will give you an accurate measurement.

For more information and tips on how you can manage diabetes and sodium in your diet, please contact the expert physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine at (540) 878-5408 or visit  Most insurances accepted and Dominion Internal Medicine is now accepting new patients!


 Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind

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