Review by

Eat Less Salt - An Easy Action Plan for Finding and Reducing the Sodium Hidden in Your Diet
(Clarkson-Potter) ISBN 978-0307888044 0307888045

This American Heart Association cookbook shows you how to reduce salt in your diet without losing flavor. Using 60 recipes and charts to show which foods are high in sodium, it explains how to make low-sodium meals, with salt substitutes and fresh foods.

Salt content of foods

Eat Less Salt answers many questions about low-sodium diets. How much sodium is in a teaspoonful of salt? (Answer: 2,300 mg) What are the risks of too much salt in your food? (Answer: high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease)

To help you achieve the recommended amount of sodium in your diet (a maximum of 1,500 mg daily), the AHA book provides several helpful charts. One, for example, lists sources of hidden sodium in food and drinks, such as tomato juice, which has 44% of the recommended daily intake of sodium in just 8 ounces (250 ml).

High-sodium foods

How much sodium is in cheese? A chart shows that cottage cheese, Parmesan and Romano cheeses are high in salt. The 272-page cookbook suggests low-sodium foods as alternatives, such as Greek yogurt.

The low-salt cookbook also provides information to help you understand food labels. E.g., sodium-free means less than 5 mg sodium per serving.

It warns that reduced-sodium foods can still be high in salt. It also advises readers that food additives, such as MSG, baking soda and baking powder also increase sodium in food.

Salt substitutes

For low-salt cooking, AHA suggests using garlic powder instead of garlic salt and no-sodium seasonings, such as lemon juice, herbs and spices.

To help you substitute low-sodium foods for high-salt dishes, the authors provide recipes like pork chops with sage-thyme rub as alternatives to deli meats.

Nutrition information

Each recipe for low-sodium dishes includes a nutritional analysis. The crunchy chicken nuggets recipe, for example, contains 293 mg of sodium per serving.

Sidebars add low-sodium cooking tips. After the recipe for smoky sweet barbecue sauce, you learn that it contains only 150 mg sodium per one-quarter cup compared to store-bought BBQ sauce with 530 mg.

Reducing sodium when eating out

One chapter shows you how to identify high-sodium menu items and replace them with low-salt foods or reduced portion sizes. It recommends that you don't add soy sauce, which contains 1,000 mg sodium per tablespoonful, or ketchup, which has 170 mg sodium per serving.

To reduce salt in pizza, the cookbook provides recipes for low-sodium pizza dough, sauces and toppings.

Which foods are low in salt?

A quiz illustrates some surprising facts about sodium in foods. For example, one ounce of salted potato chips contains less sodium (170 mg) than one ounce of salted pretzels (500 mg). The cookbook includes a recipe for low-salt, hot soft pretzels, as well as recipes for other low-sodium snacks, such as popcorn and tortilla chips.

It also notes that table salt, kosher salt and sea salt all have the same amount of sodium.

Spotlight sidebars highlight foods low in salt, such as fresh tuna with 60 mg sodium compared to canned tuna, which contains up to 315 mg per serving, and fresh green beans with 5 mg per half cup, compared to canned green beans with 350 mg.

Other ways to lower sodium intake include substituting AHA's recipes for processed desserts, e.g., making carrot cake with cream cheese frosting instead of using high-sodium cake mixes.

Low-salt salad dressings

Readers learn that store-bought salad dressings contain 200 to 400 mg sodium per serving. (Italian dressing is two to three times higher in salt than ranch dressing.)

AHA provides recipes for low-salt Thousand Island dressing and salads such as coleslaw with ginger and celery seeds.

A low-salt diet is not hard to follow if you heed AHA's advice and change the way you cook with their low-sodium recipes.

Eat Less Salt by American Heart Association


Part One: Sodium and Your Heart Health
  • Sodium, Salt and Our Food Supply
  • Sodium, High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Part Two: Strategies for a Lower Sodium Lifestyle
  • Educate Yourself
  • Start with Small Changes
  • Target High-Sodium Foods at Home
  • Identify High-Sodium Foods When Eating Out
  • Stay Focused on Eating Well
  • Plan Ahead with Lower-Sodium Menus
  • Healthy Sodium for Life
Part Three: Sodium Sense by Food Type - With Recipes
  • Breads and Grains
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Soups and Broths
  • Cheese and Other Dairy Products
  • Snacks
  • Sauces, Gravies, Condiments and Seasonings
  • Salads and Salad Dressings
  • Vegetables and Fruits
  • Breakfast Foods
  • Beverages
  • Desserts and Baking Products
Part Four: Toolkit
  • Daily Sodium Tracker
  • Daily Menu Planner
  • Sodium-Savvy Substitutions
  • Product Comparison Tracker
  • Sodium-Smart Staples
  • Food Groups and Suggested Servings
  • Sodium-Free Flavoring Suggestions
  • Warning Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke

More American Heart Association Cookbooks:

Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook

No-Fad Diet

Quick & Easy Meals

Return to Food & Drink Index