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Low-Sodium Diet Guidelines


Sodium is a mineral found in many foods that helps keep normal fluids balanced in the human body.  However, most people eat foods containing more sodium than they need, including some foods that contain high amounts even though they do not taste “salty.”
Dietary levels of sodium are important for people with a history of urinary stones because the excretion of calcium (a constituent of many stones) in the urine is directly related to sodium excretion.  Moreover, sodium restriction reduces urinary calcium excretion.
Therefore, we recommend that your sodium intake should be less than 2 grams a day.  This means more than just eliminating the salt shaker, and it is important to keep a record of the amount of sodium that you consume every day.


Comparison of Sodium in Common Foods:


Food                                        Serving                        Amount of sodium
(in milligrams)
Shrimp                                     3 oz                              190
T-bone steak                           3.5 oz                           66
Canned tuna                           3 oz                              300
American cheese                   1 oz                              443
Low-fat cottage cheese         1 cup                           918
Milk, skim or 1%                     1 cup                           125
Plain yogurt                             1 cup                            115
Green beans                            1 cup                           4
Cooked broccoli                      ½ cup                           20
Raw carrot                               1 medium                    25
Raw celery                               1 stalk                          35
Boiled corn                              ½ cup                           14
Lettuce                                     1 leaf                             2
Mushrooms (raw or cooked)    ½ cup                       1 – 2
Baked potato                           1                                    7
Cooked spinach                      ½ cup                           63
Tomato                                      1 small                        11
Canned tomato juice               ¾ cup                          660
Bran flakes                               ¾ cup                           220
Whole wheat bread                 1 slice                         159
White bread                             1 slice                          123
Instant cooked cereal              1 packet                      250
Corn flakes                              1 cup                            290
Pancake                                   1 (7-inch round)          431
Canned soups                         1 cup                           600 – 1300
Frozen main dishes                 8 oz                             500 – 2570

Revised 10/8/2010 JMH