Unsweetened and unsalted oatmeal, dried beans, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables are some healthy foods that contain negligible amounts of sodium. In general, whole foods prepared at home are lower in sodium than pre-packaged foods.
Almost all varieties of fresh fruit are low in sodium. Low-to-no sodium fruit options include fresh apples, bananas and oranges. Fresh vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and carrots are similarly low in sodium. Canned fruits and vegetables sometimes have sodium added as a preservative -- people watching their salt intake should select canned foods that are specifically labelled as being low in sodium.
Packaged breads, pancake and waffle mixes, and instant rice and oatmeal tend to contain added sodium. To avoid sodium in grain products, dieters should cook grains and grain products from scratch. Rice, oatmeal and pasta contain almost no sodium when cooked in unsalted water. Many varieties of ready-to-eat cereal are also low in sodium. Cereal that is high in fiber and low in sugar is generally a healthy choice.
When selecting proteins and meat alternatives, fresh or frozen beef, poultry and fish are lower in sodium than cured or smoked varieties. Eggs, low-sodium peanut butter, and dried beans and lentils are good sodium-free choices. Dried beans should be soaked and cooked in unsalted water to keep them sodium-free.