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A DASH Diet Approved Grocery List

Excess sodium raises blood pressure, which is why the DASH diet recommends limiting sodium consumption to between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams per day for ultimate blood pressure control. But how are you supposed to know which foods are the most heart-friendly when you’re at the grocery store? Easy! Just reference the following chart, which breaks down the foods that are higher-sodium choices, those that are more moderate options, and those that are better choices. Try to make as many better choices as you can.

Type of Food Not So Much Okay Better Choice
Meats Deli meats Low-sodium deli meats Fresh-cooked meat
Beans Regular canned beans, drained No-salt-added or low-sodium, rinsed canned beans Dry beans, homemade
Vegetables Regular canned vegetables, drained 50% less salt canned vegetables, drained No-salt-added canned vegetables, rinsed

Fresh vegetables
Cheese Dry, aged cheese

Parmesan, Romano, blue

Processed cheese
Fresh natural cheese

Cheddar, brie, gouda, colby-jack, mozzarella
Swiss, low-sodium varieties
Bread Canned biscuits, corn bread English muffins Regular bread
Mixed nuts Salted Lightly salted Unsalted
Popcorn Oil-popped commercial Air-popped
Peanut butter Light or reduced-fat Regular Very low-sodium
Seasonings Salt

Garlic salt
Garlic powder Salt-free seasonings; fresh garlic

Always read labels. Often, reduced-fat items, while lower in fat, are higher in sodium and sugar. This exchange makes the fat reduction insignificant in the bigger picture. In addition, bread can be a major contributor of sodium, so compare different brands and varieties for the best choice.

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