Slash the Salt? (continued)

saltSalty Language

Many food manufacturers now offer lower-salt versions of their products. Be cautious here, though, and read the labels carefully. A lower-salt product may still contain more sodium than you want. Here's what all those sodium claims on packages really mean.


If the package says:
It means:
Sodium-free; salt-free; no sodium  Less than 5 mg per serving
Low in sodium; less sodium 140 mg sodium or less per serving
Reduced sodium; less sodium At least 25% less sodium than the original food, but the food could still be high in sodium
Light in sodium At least 50% less sodium than the original food
Very low sodium 35mg of sodium or less per serving
No salt added; unsalted                       No additional salt was added to the food during processing
Lightly salted                                        50% less sodium added during processing than normally added, but the food could still be high in salt


Lower Salt Swaps

Cut back on your salt intake by making these easy switches:

High Salt Lower Salt Alternative
Food Sodium per serving Food Sodium per serving

canned corn

320 mg/1 cup frozen corn 8 mg/1 cup
canned peas 428 mg/1 cup frozen peas 140 mg/1 cup
canned diced tomatoes 355 mg/1 cup no salt added canned diced tomatoes 2 mg/1 cup
canned chicken broth 960 mg/1 cup reduced sodium canned chicken broth 554 mg/1 cup
salted butter 16 mg/0.1 oz (1 pat) unsalted (sweet) butter 1 mg/0.1 oz (1 pat)
corn flakes 266 mg/ 1 oz shredded wheat 2 mg/1 oz
microwave popcorn 50 mg/1 cup plain popcorn 1 mg/1 cup
American cheese 405 mg/1 oz Colby cheese 171 mg/1 oz
low fat cottage cheese 918 mg/1 cup no salt added lowfat cottage cheese 29 mg/1 cup
full fat plain yogurt 113 mg/1 cup low fat plain yogurt 171 mg/1 cup
hot cocoa from mix 148 mg/6 oz hot cocoa (homemade) 98 mg/1 cup
Tater Tots (Ore-Ida) 420 mg/3 oz sweet potato fries (Ore-Ida) 160 mg/3 oz
dry roasted salted peanuts 230 mg/1oz dry roasted unsalted peanuts 0 mg/1 oz




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Last Modified Date: November 27, 2012

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...
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