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

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

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining blood volume and pressure and for transmitting nerve impulses.

Sodium, together with chloride forms table salt or sodium chloride. Processed foods are by far the largest contributor of sodium in the diet, accounting for about 80% of our total sodium intake.

Over-consumption of sodium increases the risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), which in turn increases the risk of 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.

The current daily value (DV) for sodium is 2300mg, however, the American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure eat less than 1500mg per day or less than 3/4 of a tablespoon of salt.

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.

List of Low Sodium Foods

Pecans1 Pecans
Sodium
per Oz
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
0mg
(0% DV)
0mg
(0% DV)
0mg
(0% DV)

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.

Whole green olives2 Olive Oil
Sodium
per Tablespoon
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
0.1mg
(0% DV)
2mg
(0% DV)
0.5mg
(0% DV)

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.

Leaves of Basil3 Basil
Sodium
2 Tblsp
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
0.2mg
(0% DV)
4mg
(0% DV)
34.8mg
(2% DV)

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.

Ground Spices4 Cinnamon
Sodium
1 Tblsp
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
0.8mg
(0% DV)
10mg
(0% DV)
8.1mg
(0% DV)

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.

Apples5 Apples
Sodium
per Cup
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
1.3mg
(0% DV)
1mg
(0% DV)
3.8mg
(0% DV)

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.

Green Beans6 Green (Snap) Beans
Sodium
per Cup Cooked
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
1.3mg
(0% DV)
1mg
(0% DV)
5.7mg
(0% DV)

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.

Kidney Beans7 Kidney Beans
Sodium
per Cup
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
1.8mg
(0% DV)
1mg
(0% DV)
1.6mg
(0% DV)

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: Note: Beware of high sodium levels in canned beans with added salt.

See the full list of beans low in sodium.

Brown Rice8 Brown Rice
Sodium
per Cup
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
2mg
(0% DV)
1mg
(0% DV)
1.8mg
(0% DV)

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.

A roast chicken9 Lean Chicken Breast
Sodium
in a 6oz Breast
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
79.9mg
(3% DV)
47mg
(2% DV)
59.9mg
(3% DV)
Salmon Fillets10 Salmon
Sodium
per 6oz Fillet
Sodium
per 100g
Sodium
per 200 Calories
95.2mg
(4% DV)
56mg
(2% DV)
61.5mg
(3% DV)

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.

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and accounts for absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and is the target on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) is a customized target accounting for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central