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How to Find Hidden Salt (Sodium)


Topic Overview

Salt (sodium) can be found in many substances that you might not suspect. Some nonprescription medicines and many canned and other processed foods contain sodium.

Check food labels. Sodium can have many different names. Be careful about using products that have these ingredients:

  • Monosodium glutamate, or MSG (often added to Chinese food)
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium sulfite
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Disodium phosphate

Check your medicines. Sodium can be an ingredient in medicines.

  • Prescription medicines. Talk with your doctor about whether the medicines you take contain salt.
  • Nonprescription medicines. Many medicines that you can buy without a prescription contain sodium. Read the labels. If you are not sure whether a medicine contains sodium, talk with a pharmacist. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any new nonprescription medicine.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last RevisedJuly 30, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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