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Ask the Expert Archive

What should I look for on the food label for canned veggies? How much sodium is too much? This is for a CHF

You should strive to have 2400 mg of sodium or less per day.  Canned vegetables (and many canned foods) contain sodium due to preservation methods. Low sodium foods are classified as foods containing less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. Many canned vegetables do come in low sodium varieties, but if they don’t, you can reduce the sodium content by almost half by draining the liquid and then rinsing the vegetables with water.

The bigger sodium culprit in American diets is generally processed meats (bacon, ham, lunchmeats, etc.), cheese (especially processed cheese like American cheese), and condiments (catsup, mustard, soy sauce, barbeque sauce, etc.).  All packaged foods must list sodium content, so be sure to read the food label to help monitor your sodium intake. Check out our list of fruits and vegetables that contain ‘low sodium’ or ‘very low sodium.’

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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