JustAnswer Blog: Health

You are here

Foods to avoid on a 'no salt' diet

Most of this food is off limits. (Photo: Flickr/Natalie Maynor)

Foods to avoid on a 'no salt' diet

July 18, 2012

Q: My husband was just diagnosed with congestive heart problems. The doctor says "no salt," and I've tried to eliminate excess salt and buy low-sodium products. Is there a guideline to what is OK for salt intake?

A: Generally when someone says "no salt," you try to limit your salt intake to less than about 2 grams per day (this ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 grams per day, based on who you listen to).

One teaspoon of salt is a little more than 2 grams of salt.

So you can see how little salt this really is. Start by adding no salt to your foods, buying low-sodium foods, and avoiding these kinds of foods:

  • Ketchup, prepared mustard, pickles, and olives
  • Soy sauce, steak or barbecue sauce, chili sauce, or Worcestershire sauce
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Commercially prepared or cured meats or fish (e.g. bacon, luncheon meats, canned sardines)
  • Salty cheeses and buttermilk
  • Salted nuts and peanut butter
  • Self-rising flour and biscuit mixes
  • Salted crackers, chips, popcorn, and pretzels
  • Commercial salad dressings
  • Instant cooked cereals

If you notice fluid is building up in your husband's arms and legs (peripheral edema), this is a sign that salt intake may still be too high.

-- Answer from Dr. Mark, a physician on JustAnswer.

Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided by a Expert on JustAnswer.