Foods that are low in salt include fresh fruits and vegetables, dry beans, white rice and fresh meat or fish. Fresh and frozen foods tend to have less salt than canned or boxed versions of the same foods because sodium is often added during the canning or packaging process.
Packaged foods list a sodium count in the nutritional information on their packages, making it easy for consumers to compare products to find the version that is lowest in salt. Some foods with high sodium levels, including many baked goods and canned soups, do not taste especially salty, which can deceive diners into thinking they contain less sodium than they actually do. Cured or smoked meats, salted nuts and frozen prepared entrees often have high levels of sodium and should be avoided by individuals on a low-sodium diet.
Foods with up to 140 milligrams of sodium per serving are considered low-sodium foods, as defined by the National Labeling and Education Act. Foods with 5 milligrams of sodium or less are considered no-sodium foods. The Cleveland Clinic recommends restricting sodium intake to under 2,000 milligrams per day for general health and recommends that individuals at high risk for cardiovascular problems reduce sodium intake to below 1,500 milligrams per day. Excess sodium in the body can lead to or exacerbate high blood pressure and water retention.