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Low Sodium Foods for People with High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Low Sodium Foods for People with High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining proper blood pressure and for providing channels of nerve signaling in the body. Sodium is a major component of table salt (Sodium Chloride) and in today's modern diet it is often easy to consume too much sodium since salt is often added in large quantities to a variety of foods, and used in food preservation.

Over-consumption of sodium leads to high blood pressure (hypertension), which later leads to heart disease and stroke. As such, it is wise to regulate the amount of sodium you eat, and if you have high blood pressure to restrict your consumption of sodium, while boosting your consumption of potassium.

Fortunately, almost all foods are naturally low in sodium and it is easy to avoid consuming sodium if you stick to eating whole unprocessed foods without adding any salt or sauces. So a low sodium diet could be seen as more of an exercise in avoiding high sodium foods, than eating low sodium foods. Healthy low sodium foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, legumes, nuts, meats, oils, and fish. Be sure foods are not canned, or otherwise prepared with salt, or sauces that contain salt. Below is an overview of the top 10 foods lowest in sodium for your blood pressure diet.


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List of Low Sodium Foods

1Pecans
Pecans

More Low Sodium Nuts

-0% DV in 1 oz of almonds
-0% DV in 1 oz of pistachios
-0% DV in 1 oz of walnuts

Low sodium numbers only apply to unsalted nuts.
See the full list of nuts low in sodium.
2Olive Oil
Whole green olives

More Low Sodium Oils

-0% DV in 1 tblsp of peanut oil
-0% DV in 1 tblsp of sesame oil
-0% DV in 1 tblsp of rice bran oil

See the full list of low sodium fats and oils.
3Basil
Leaves of Basil

More Low Sodium Herbs

-0% DV in 1 tsp of thyme
-0% DV in 1 tsp of rosemary
-0% DV in 1 tsp of dried oregano

See the full list of spices and herbs low in sodium.
4Cinnamon
Ground Spices

More Low Sodium Spices

-0% DV in 1 tsp of pepper
-0% DV in 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
-0% DV in 1 tsp of nutmeg

See the full list of spices and herbs low in sodium.
5Apples
Apples

More Fruits Low in Sodium

-0% DV in 1 cup of cherries
-0% DV in 1 cup of bananas
-0% DV in 1 tsp of oranges

Almost all fruits are low in sodium. See the full list of 146 low sodium fruits.
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6Green (Snap) Beans
Green Beans

More Vegetables Low in Sodium

-0% DV in 1 cup of cucumber
-0% DV in 1 cup of peas
-1% DV in 1 cup of spinach

Almost all vegetables are low in sodium. See the full list of 200 low sodium vegetables.
7Kidney Beans
Kidney Beans

More Beans and Lentils Low in Sodium

-0% DV in 1 cup of navy beans
-0% DV in 1 cup of pinto beans
-1% DV in 1 cup of black beans

Note: Beware high sodium levels in canned beans.
See the full list of beans low in sodium.
8Brown Rice
Brown Rice

More Grains Low in Sodium

-0% DV in 1 cup of oatmeal
-0% DV in 1 cup of cornmeal (grits)
-1% DV in 1 cup of quinoa

See the full list of grains low in sodium.
9 Lean Chicken Breast
A roast chicken
10Salmon
Salmon Fillets

Other Fish Low in Sodium

-3% DV in a trout fillet
-4% DV in a tuna fillet
-4% DV in a salmon fillet

See all fish low in sodium.
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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
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