Recommendations 9 and 11 "How to"


  • Salt is made of sodium chloride
  • Salt is 40% sodium
  • Milligrams or mg are usually used to measure sodium
  • Grams or g are used when talking about salt
  • 1 teaspoon of salt has approximately 2000 mg of sodium
  • Most of the salt in our diet has been added during processing
  • Sodium is essential for good health, but our body needs no more than 1/4 teaspoon of salt daily, or 500 mg of sodium. People who do not sweat much can do with even less.
  • Medications and water softeners can add a significant amount of sodium to your diet.
  • The taste for salt is something we acquire by eating salty foods. It takes about one month to become used to foods with less salt.

Tips You Can Use

  • Use herbs and spices in place of salt. Fresh lemon juice is an amazing flavor enhancer on soups (yes, soups!), poultry, fish, salads, cooked or raw vegetables.
  • Check the food label. Some spice mixes may have salt added
  • You may consider using some salty foods when this is complemented by foods low in salt or with no salt added
  • Become aware of the amount of sodium in processed foods. Read the Nutrition Facts label of foods.
  • You will use less total salt and feel satisfied if you cooked without it or with very little, and added lightly at the table.
  • If your home has a water softener that uses salt (sodium chloride), you may want to drink and cook with bottled water.
  • If you want to know how much sodium is in medicines you take, check the label or ask your pharmacist.
  • Foods with typical high sodium content are: salted and dried fish, canned fish and meat (tuna, Spam), dried meats (beef jerky), lunch and breakfast meats (bacon, sausage, bologna), pickles and vegetables processed in brine, miso (fermented soybean paste), soy sauce, sauerkraut, vegetables canned with salt, salted snacks (potato chips, corn chips), canned soups, bouillon.
  • Follow storage instructions on food items. Perishable food, if not eaten promptly, should be refrigerated or frozen.
  • Do not eat foods that have become moldy.


See Recommendations 9 & 11 Background for more information


EXTOXNET FAQS Diet and Cancer Homepage

Prepared 1998 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.