How to understand what food labels are telling you when it comes to fat and sodium. This is a quick and easy option you can use for lowering blood pressure levels.

1. Select foods with less SODIUM than the following amounts per serving:

Frozen or packaged dinners – 500 mg
Microwave Popcorn – 350 mg
Desserts & Cookies – 250 mg
Cheese – 200 mg
Chips, Pretzels – 200 mg
Bread, Crackers, Rolls – 140 mg

2. Select foods with less FAT than the following amounts per serving:

Frozen dinners – 10 g
Cheese – 5 g
Microwave Popcorn – 5 g
Lunch Meat – 3 g
Soup – 3 g
Snacks – 3 g
Bread, Crackers, Rolls – 3 g
Frozen yogurt or Sherbet – 2 g

Do not forget to look at the serving size when reading food labels and how many servings there are per container. Usually a serving size does not equal one can, bottle, or box. If a can contain 3 servings and you eat 1 can, you need to multiply the sodium or fat per serving times 3. For example, I have a can of chicken noodle soup with 920 mg of sodium per serving and 6 servings per can. If I eat the entire can, I consume 5520 mg of sodium (920 x 6).

Reducing the amount of salt in your diet is a very effective strategy for lowering blood pressure. Salt is frequently added to foods during processing, which is why reading and understanding food labels can be such a useful tool as you move towards lower blood pressure levels.