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Hold the salt?


low-sodium foods:

140 milligrams per serving;

moderate-sodium food:

400 milligrams per serving;

high-sodium food:

400 milligrams per serving.

Salt is known for preserving foods and enhancing taste. The human body requires sodium for the regulation of fluid balance. However, Americans are increasingly consuming too much of it, say experts.

The biggest reason? Most point to the large amounts of salt and other sodium containing ingredients in processed food.

Government guidelines recommend less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day— about one teaspoon of salt. The U.S. Department of Agriculture lists typical sodium content for more than 7,000 foods.

Some examples of high sodium foods from the USDA List:

  • Dehydrated onion soup mix (1 packet):
    3,132 milligrams
  • Seasoned bread crumbs (1 cup):
    2,111 milligrams
  • Graham cracker pie crust (1 pie shell):
    1,365 milligrams
  • Spaghetti/marinara sauce (1 cup):
    1,203 milligrams
  • Macaroni and cheese (1 cup):
    1,061 milligrams
  • Teriyaki Sauce (1 tablespoon):
    690 milligrams
  • Vegetable juice cocktail (1 cup):
    653 milligrams
  • Beef or pork salami (2 slices):
    604 milligrams
  • Canned jalapeno peppers
    (1/4 cup, solids and liquids): 434 milligrams

The USDA suggests that those who continually eat more than 100 percent of the daily value for sodium each day, consider a lower sodium alternative.Try to select foods that provide 5 percent or less per serving.

For more information, visit the What's in Food link at

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