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Why you need to control sodium

Eating a healthful diet is an important part of managing heart failure. A low-sodium diet can improve your heart failure.

Sodium tips

Limit salt to 1,500 milligrams (mg) or less each day.

An acceptable amount of sodium per serving is 140 mg or less.

Limit only one food a day with more than 400 mg of sodium per serving.

A high-sodium diet can be harmful when you have heart failure. The extra water in your body — due to the extra sodium — makes your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body.

One teaspoon of salt contains 2,400 milligrams of sodium. You should limit your sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day.

If you take medicine for high blood pressure, a low-sodium diet may allow the medicine to work better.

How to deal with salt cravings

A craving for salt is not your body's way of telling you that you are low on salt. It is a learned response. Since the craving for salt is learned, it can be unlearned.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-20-7

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 07/19/2008

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts