Sodium is a compound found widely in nature and in foods. Many foods contain sodium naturally, but do not taste salty.
For heart failure patients, the recommended sodium intake is 2,000 milligrams a day.
One teaspoon of salt contains 2,400 milligrams of sodium. A low-sodium diet allows 2,000 milligrams a day.
Eating high amounts of sodium can be especially harmful if you have heart failure. When you have heart failure, your heart cannot pump as well as it once did. Sodium causes your body to retain, or hold, more water. This increases the work of your heart as it pumps blood through your body.
If you are on an eating plan of 2,000 milligrams of sodium a day, the chart and recipes below may be a help in planning your meals and snacks.
Many salt substitutes are high in potassium. Some people with heart failure should not take large amounts of potassium, especially if they are taking an ACE inhibitor.
Check with your doctor before using any salt substitutes.
Low-sodium foods chart
It is best to limit yourself to only one food a day with more than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving.
There are a few simple things you can do to reduce the sodium in your diet:
*Follow any sodium restrictions given to you by your health care team.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
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