How to choose low salt foods and use it sparingly

Salt is sodium chloride and salt is the main contributor of sodium in the diet. Excessive sodium intakes increase blood pressure, and may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Low salt canned foods
Low salt canned foods
Also read, Salt and health
Low salt fresh vegetables
Low salt fresh vegetables

As many foods include added salt, those with high energy requirements need to take care with their food choices to achieve a low sodium intake.

Discretionary choices

Limit those foods which contain high levels of salt such as marinades and sauces (soy or fish sauces are particularly high in salt), salty snack foods like potato crisps, and crackers, salty spreads like Vegemite™, Marmite™, savory biscuits, prepared soups and salted foods such as liquid stock or stock cubes.

Five Food Groups

Avoid adding salt during food preparation or at the table. Limit the amounts of higher salt foods and balance them with other foods from within the same food group which are lower in salt. Avoid using salt in food preparation or at the table. Add herbs, spices and other low salt flavorings, like no added salt tomato paste, to cooking in place of salt. See Table below for higher and lower salt choices within the Five Food Groups.

Examples of higher and lower salt, five food group choices

Food groupHigher salt choicesLower salt choices
Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fiberMost breads; higher salt breakfast cereals, higher salt crisp breadsHome cooked rice, pasta and noodles polenta, couscous, quinoa, lower salt breads, rolled oats, muesli and some breakfast cereals, some crisp breads
Milk, yogurt, cheese and/or alternativesMost cheese.Milk and yogurt, ricotta and reduced salt cheeses
Vegetables and legumes/beansCanned vegetables and beans, antipasto vegetablesFresh vegetables, canned varieties without added salt
Lean meats & poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beansFish or legumes/beans canned in salt (brine) or oilFresh cooked meats/fish, fish canned in water without added salt legumes/ beans (dried or canned without added salt), eggs, tofu, unsalted nuts and seeds
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