Sodium (salt) is a mineral found in many foods. We need sodium for important bodily functions such as muscle contraction and water balance. On a two gram (2,000 milligrams [mg]) sodium diet you will be limiting the amount of high-sodium foods that you eat.

A low-sodium diet can prevent or lower high blood pressure, and prevent and improve edema (water retention), which can occur with conditions such as heart failure and kidney disease. The foods highest in sodium include table salt (about 50% sodium), processed foods, condiments, seasonings, convenience foods, and preserved foods. Just one teaspoon of salt has 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium.

Examples of processed foods include canned foods, frozen dinners, snack foods, packaged starchy foods (eg, seasoned rice, instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese), baking mixes, deli meats and cheeses, sausages, and cured or smoked meats.