Q: My husband was just diagnosed with congestive heart problems. The doctor says “no salt,” and I’ve tried to eliminate excess salt and buy low-sodium products. Is there a guideline to what is OK for salt intake?
A: Generally when someone says “no salt,” you try to limit your salt intake to less than about 2 grams per day (this ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 grams per day, based on who you listen to).
One teaspoon of salt is a little more than 2 grams of salt.
So you can see how little salt this really is. Start by adding no salt to your foods, buying low-sodium foods, and avoiding these kinds of foods:
- Ketchup, prepared mustard, pickles, and olives
- Soy sauce, steak or barbecue sauce, chili sauce, or Worcestershire sauce
- Bouillon cubes
- Commercially prepared or cured meats or fish (e.g. bacon, luncheon meats, canned sardines)
- Salty cheeses and buttermilk
- Salted nuts and peanut butter
- Self-rising flour and biscuit mixes
- Salted crackers, chips, popcorn, and pretzels
- Commercial salad dressings
- Instant cooked cereals
If you notice fluid is building up in your husband’s arms and legs (peripheral edema), this is a sign that salt intake may still be too high.
— Answer from Dr. Mark, a physician on JustAnswer.
Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided by a Expert on JustAnswer.