Salt is one of the most common sources of sodium intake. And sodium is essential for our body but in small quantities.

The most popular high salt foods you consume are pizza, bead, soups, meats, and other packaged food. However, overeating sodium can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and other heart problems. While consuming too little can also harm our health.

You add salt during cooking or packing/preserving food for consumption later. It is naturally available in fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, etc.

What Is Low Salt Diet?


A low salt diet limits the consumption of salt or sodium levels that you eat. Though it is essential for our body, it helps balance water and other minerals. But, excess intake can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease or stroke.

NHS recommends consuming 6 g or 1 tsp of salt every day [1]. But according to WHO [2], most people consume 9 – 12 g of salt daily on an average, which is almost twice the prescribed limit.

Having a low salt diet helps reduce food items high in salt. In this diet, you can only consume 500-700 mg of sodium per meal (as against 1500-2300 mg).

Benefits of Low Salt Diet

There are many benefits associated with consuming a low salt diet. It is helpful for people having high blood pressure or problems related to the kidney, liver, heart, etc.

Cardiovascular Disease

As per a research study, a lower salt intake can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart failure, coronary heart disease, stroke, etc. [3].

Helps with Kidney Disease

The kidney helps remove excess salt from our bodies. But if you have a kidney problem, it is advised to lower the level of salt intake to avoid any further complications.

Can Help in Reducing Blood Pressure Levels

Having a higher blood pressure level can lead to many other health issues like heart problems, stroke, headaches, migraines, etc. According to research, a low salt diet helps control blood pressure levels [4].

Reduces Headaches

Research shows that high salt intake can cause blood vessels to expand in the head. High blood pressure can also lead to increase headaches. Having a low salt diet can lower blood pressure and headaches.

Improves Diet Quality

Many unhealthy, packaged, fast foods and frozen meals are high in sodium. Reducing these foods can improve diet quality and other health issues.

Tips to Master Low Salt Diet

low salt diet plan

It is challenging to cut back on salt levels, giving the food peppery, spicy flavors. But, with a bit of practice, you will be able to reduce your sodium levels. Below are a few tips on reducing your salt intake:

Track Your Salt Intake

Make a journal and log all food items that you take daily. You can use many apps available to track your daily intake. This is the easiest way to understand the food items which are high in sodium. And it can help you to change your dietary habits by replacing t with healthier food options.

Plan Your Meals in Advance

You should plan your meals to help you take control of the food you intake and the nutrition it provides. Many popular diets like Keto, Flexitarian, and Paleo can help plan your meals.

Planning your meals will also encourage you to shop for more fresh vegetables and fruits in advance. You can also prepare home-cooked food instead of consuming last-minute packaged food high in sodium.

Eat Fresh and Whole Foods

Eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will naturally reduce your sodium intake. Also, consume more water instead of other aerated drinks.

Read Food Labels

Always check nutrition facts and sodium levels in the packaged, ready-to-eat food you buy. Generally, 5% or below sodium level is considered “low,” while the FDA defines anything more than 20% as high (5).

Choose Healthy Options While Eating Out

Most fast food or junk food is high in salt levels. So, when you go out to eat, try to select healthier food choices like choosing the salad instead of fries.

Low Salt Diet Foods

Foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and Legumes, unsalted Nuts and Seeds, and dairy products are naturally low in sodium. They are not only low in salt intake but are also safe and healthy food choices.

  • Season Vegetables – Potatoes, Beans, Carrots, Cauliflower, Brocolli, Spinach, Garlic, Seet Potatoes, Aubergines, etc.
  • All Fruits – Apple, Banana, Grapes, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Pomegranates, Kiwi, Avacado, Passion Fruit, Plums, etc.
  • Whole Grains and Legumes – Wheat, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Lentils, Chickpeas, etc
  • Nuts and Seeds – Cashews, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Pumpkin, Chia, Sunflower, etc.
  • Dairy Products – Milk, Yoghurt, Egg, Unsalted Butter, Cream, Ice-cream, etc.
  • Fish and Sea Food – Salmon, Tuna, Lobster, prawns, Crab, Oysters, etc.
  • Low-sodium Drinks – Tea, Coffee, Fresh Juice, and water.

High Salt Food to Avoid


Most of the high food intake comes from packaged food, fast food, or when you go dining in a restaurant.

Know the foods that contain a high amount of salt to decide your food options accordingly.

  • Pickles, Sauces, Ketchup, Dressings, etc.
  • Soups
  • Salty Snacks and nuts, fries, chips,
  • Canned Food
  • Bread and Biscuits
  • Fast and Junk Food like – Pizza, Burger, etc.
  • Processed food as they contain a high amount of sodium preservatives

No Salt Diet Side Effects

Health organizations recommend consuming 2300 mg of salt per day for adults.

Though a reduced-sodium diet may help with reducing blood pressure and other health problems like heart and kidney. However, a no salt diet can harm your health

According to some studies, restricting sodium has increased cholesterol, triglycerides, and hyponatremia. It has also led to hospitalization, heart failure, and deaths [6] [7].

Low Salt for Heart Disease

Low salt consumption can help people with heart conditions.

The reason is salt contains sodium, which can cause the retention of fluids. Limiting the salt intake can minimize the buildup of extra fluids around the lungs, heart, and legs. Also, low salt intake can reduce the pressure on the heart to overwork in situations like coughing, etc.

Low Salt Diet For Hypertension


Research shows that a low sodium diet helps people with health issues like hypertension and high blood pressure.

Increased salt in the body can increase the amount of water in the bloodstream. This increases blood pressure that puts extra pressure on the circulatory system resulting in high blood pressure levels.

Reducing the salt intake may help in lowering the elevated blood pressure levels.

Low Salt Diet Plan

A low salt diet plan is an eating plan that is low on sodium intake through proper planning of food items.

In certain health conditions like high blood pressure, kidney, and liver, it is recommended to consume food that is low in salt levels.

Low Salt Diet Menu

Here’s a sample diet menu to help you plan your low-sodium diet.

Breakfast1 cup of oatmeal skim milk, Banana, Honey
Lunch2 cups of leafy veggies or chicken breast, salad (carrots and tomatoes), ½ cup of nuts and seeds, avocados
Snacks1 apple or orange, ½ cup unsalted nuts
Dinner½ cup brown rice, season vegetables like broccoli or salmon

Bottom Line

Salt that contains sodium is essential for the body to maintain fluids. It plays a vital role in the proper functioning of muscles and nerves.

Consuming excess sodium levels can lead to hypertension and other health issues. And a low sodium diet than recommended can have adverse health effects and result in health complications.

Home-cooked and fresh food items like vegetables, fruits, grains, etc., are a natural source of low sodium for people who are advised to consume less salt.

A low sodium diet can help lower increased blood pressure and people having chronic kidney and heart conditions.

Always consult a qualified professional or dietitian for further advice on a low salt diet.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • NHS website. (2022b, September 13). Salt: the facts. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from
  • Salt reduction. (2020, April 29). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from
  • He, F. J., & MacGregor, G. A. (2018). Role of salt intake in prevention of cardiovascular disease: controversies and challenges. Nature reviews. Cardiology15(6), 371–377.
  • Suckling, R. J., & Swift, P. A. (2015). The health impacts of dietary sodium and a low-salt diet. Clinical medicine (London, England)15(6), 585–588.
  • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2022a, February 25). Sodium in Your Diet. U.S. Food And Drug Administration. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from
  • Doukky, R., Avery, E., Mangla, A., Collado, F. M., Ibrahim, Z., Poulin, M. F., Richardson, D., & Powell, L. H. (2016). Impact of Dietary Sodium Restriction on Heart Failure Outcomes. JACC. Heart failure4(1), 24–35.


  • Sarika Moghe

    With her Master in Business Adminstration (MBA), Sarika has explored numerous industries and picked up valuable experiences and skills along the way. She is now a professional content writer and meditation instructor who enjoys helping and empowering people to get deeper in touch with their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Sarika also has experience as a social media manager and research and marketing professional, which equips her to communicate effectively through her articles. LinkedIn

  • Kim Monasterial, BSN

    Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


With her Master in Business Adminstration (MBA), Sarika has explored numerous industries and picked up valuable experiences and skills along the way. She is now a professional content writer and meditation instructor who enjoys helping and empowering people to get deeper in touch with their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Sarika also has experience as a social media manager and research and marketing professional, which equips her to communicate effectively through her articles. LinkedIn