Transcript: Healthy Alternatives to Sodium

Registered dietitian Ursula Ridens discusses sodium.

Ursula Ridens is a registered dietitian with Sharp HealthCare.


Hi I’m Ursula Ridens, registered dietitian at Sharp HealthCare. Today we are talking about how to improve your heart health with a low-sodium diet.

The American Heart Association recommends 1,500 milligrams of sodium or less per day. A high sodium diet contributes to high blood pressure, clogging up the arteries and plaque build-up. Just one teaspoon of salt has 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That is considerably more than what your body needs for the day. And don’t get confused by sea salt; sea salt has just as much sodium as table salt.

Let’s take a look at other items that can be high in sodium. Here we have a can of corn. Per serving, there is 300 to 400 milligrams of sodium. A better alternative would be choosing fresh corn or even frozen corn. Be careful, though. Be sure to read the label. Some frozen vegetables have added sodium, too. Canned tomato sauce can also be very high in sodium, about 250 milligrams per serving. You’re better off throwing some tomatoes in a blender. We have canned beans as well, about 400 to 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. You can rinse off about 40 percent of that sodium by running the beans under running water.

In here we have a frozen entrée that looks pretty healthy, but don’t be fooled. There’s about 800 milligrams of sodium in one serving. That’s about half of your daily needs. Let’s take a look at an item that is actually low sodium. This bread right here only has 140 milligrams per serving.

So to spice up your meals, it is important to use flavorings that do not have sodium. Look at these fresh and dried herbs and spices. We have paprika, cumin, garlic, lemon — these are all great ways to flavor your food so they taste great. You won’t even need to use a pinch of salt. Mrs. Dash is also a wonderful way to add some flavoring without any sodium. So here’s to your health and making low-sodium meals.