Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Sodium in Your Diet

Sodium is an important part of a balanced diet and allows for proper muscle and nerve function and allows for the natural reaction to balance the body’s fluid levels. Unfortunately most of us consume too much salt in our daily diet (FDA guideline 2,400 mg). Watching your sodium intake may be very tricky since not all sodium comes from salt. This week we are going to attempt to make the battle a little easier by making you aware of some typical grocery foods that are high in sodium.

1. Frozen foods
a. That lean cuisine or hot pocket may look healthy; however, if you look at the label the amount of sodium may be surprising. If you enjoy bringing this type of food as a quick lunch for work, I recommend making a moderate to large meal that you can freeze and eat throughout the week. This may be a healthier and less costly alternative.
2. Ready to eat cereals
a. Yes even raisin bran can boast up to 300g of sodium per cup! Think about portion size and the big bowl we all reach for in the morning when we eat breakfast. Instead think of fruit or a low sodium variety of cereal. Refer to a previous post and really familiarize yourself with food labels to maximize your knowledge.
3. Canned vegetables
a. Sodium is used as a preservative as well as seasoning. A typical can of corn can have as much as 700g of sodium. If you must buy canned food rinse it thoroughly before consuming. Your best bet is to buy seasonal or better yet local vegetables or fruits to minimize the use of preservatives and pesticides.

These are just a few foods that you may think are “lower” in sodium. There are many other foods such as these. Refer to for many other helpful tips on food selection. If all else fails read the food label on the side of the package or can. It holds valuable information on the nutritional value of each product.

For more information on healthy living, or to schedule a consultation for physical therapy, feel free to contact us at 518-690-4406 or visit our website at or email us at

William Milhizer, DPT, PT

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