The Shakedown on Salt

The Shakedown on Salt
by Danielle Van Schaick, R.D.

What is sodium?


Sodium (or salt) is an essential mineral and one of four electrolytes needed for regulation of fluid balance in the body, contraction of muscles (including the heart), and the conduction of nerve impulses.

How much sodium do we need in our diet?

9-50 yrs: 1500 mg/day 50-70 yrs: 1300 mg/day >70 yrs: 1200 mg/day

How much is too much?

Limit your salt intake to less than 2300 mg/day


1. Read food labels: Aim to keep your sodium intake around 1500mg/day; less than 2300 mg/day.
2. Use less packaged & processed foods.
3. Break the habit. Taste your food before adding salt. Remove the salt-shaker from your table and try a “sodium free” herbal blend like McCormick No Salt Added seasonings (Garlic & Herb, Lemon Dill, Italian, etc)
4. Choose fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without added salt.
5. Choose fresh or frozen fish more often than canned.
6. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which are low in sodium.
7. Take note of the salt content in your favorite condiments: steak sauce, soy sauce, salsa, and ketchup.
8. Use spices and herbs to season your food. Fresh vegetable and citrus juices work great too.
9. Consider using salt substitutes. Caution: People with kidney or other medical problems
10. Limit restaurant eating. When you do eat out:
• AVOID noodle houses, Chinese, some steak houses, all fast food and pizza places
• Choose low sodium menu items, stir-fry’s and noodle dishes are highest in sodium
• Plain grilled meats are lower in salt (grilled salmon, steak, or chicken)
• Avoid “Cajun” and “Teriyaki “
• Look on restaurant websites for nutrition information.

Top 5 Worst (High Sodium) Foods:

salt shaker

1. Table Salt. There is 2,325 mg of sodium in 1 teaspoon
2. Soy Sauce: 1 tablespoon has 1,005 mg of sodium
3. Clamato Juice: 880 mg sodium/cup. “The Works” variety has over 1200 mg/cup
4. Frozen pizza, pizza pops, etc
5. Sliced bread, Bagels, Tortilla Wraps, etc can have >200mg sodium per slice/serving

Danielle Van Schaick BASc, RD, CPT
Registered Dietitian, Lead Dietitian
Professional Speaker

Danielle is a private practice dietitian with a strong background in health, nutrition and fitness. She holds an Applied Human Nutrition Degree from the University of Guelph and successfully completed a Dietetic Internship with Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).

Registered as a Dietitian (RD), Danielle has studied the human body and is considered one of Canada’s leading experts in food and nutrition. She offers one-on-one nutrition counseling to individuals, families, and groups.

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    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article


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