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Top 10 lower sodium choices


You have probably heard that soy sauce, canned soups, dill pickles and fast food usually contain a lot of sodium. However, sodium can be found where you least expect it. Healthy adults only need 1500 mg of sodium per day. Healthy children only need 1000 to 1500 mg of sodium per day. Good news! There are lots of lower sodium alternatives to some of our favourite everyday foods.


Start by making wise food choices from the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide.

Vegetables and Fruit:

  • Buy fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible.
  • Look for canned vegetables that are low in sodium. Buy low sodium vegetable juice and tomato juice.

Grain Products:

  • Choose breads, breakfast cereals and bakery products that are lowest in sodium.
  • Enjoy a variety of grains such as barley, quinoa and rice which are naturally sodium free.

Milk and Alternatives:

  • Enjoy milk, fortified soy beverages and yogurt because they are low in sodium.

Meat and Alternatives:

  • Buy unseasoned meat, poultry, fish, seafood and tofu.
  • Choose unsalted nuts.
  • Buy low sodium canned beans or try dried beans, peas and lentils.  

Try these top 10 easy ways to cut back on sodium. 


Instead of...

Fresh fruit and vegetables, unsalted popcorn or unsalted nuts

Chips, salted pretzels or other salty snacks

Low sodium or salt free vegetable juices; or make your own using a juicer

High sodium vegetable drinks

Quick cooking oats made with water or milk on the stovetop or slow cooker 

Instant hot cereals


Cottage cheese

Sandwiches made with roasted meat or poultry

Sandwiches made with canned or deli meat

Fresh or frozen fish, lean meat or poultry

Luncheon meats or smoked fish

Low sodium, sodium-reduced or no added sodium varieties of canned or dried soups or broth

High sodium canned soups

Reduced sodium tomato sauce, homemade pasta sauce made with tomatoes, herbs and spices

Store bought pasta sauce

Fresh or dried herbs and spices, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, lime juice, onions and pepper

Salt, kosher salt, sea salt, celery salt, garlic salt or onion salt, or soy sauce

Oil, unsalted margarine or unsalted butter

Salted margarine or salted butter

For information on the health effects of sodium, check out Cut out the Salt.

To learn how to identify salt and sodium on the label, read Get the Scoop on Salt.


Copyright © Dietitians of Canada 2016. All rights reserved.

Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.