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Many people try to avoid extra salt in food. In people who get lightheaded, dizzy, or have POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), adding salt can sometimes help with their symptoms. Salt and sodium are often used in place of each other but are different. One gram of salt has about 388mg of sodium. Most people need about 2300mg of sodium daily. 

How can I add salt to my diet?

Sprinkle salt on your favorite foods

1/4 teaspoon of salt has 575mg of sodium. Try adding ¼ teaspoon of salt to:

  • Sliced cucumbers or tomatoes

  • Watermelon wedges

  • Sliced apple or banana with peanut butter

  • Scrambled eggs

  • Air-popped popcorn

  • Edamame (soy beans) or kale chips made with soy sauce

Choose salty drinks

Aim for two liters of fluids everyday, or 8 cups. You can get there by:

  • Sipping tomato juice, tomato soup or warm broth

  • Choosing drinks high in electrolytes, such as low calorie G2™, Powerade Zero™, and Propel™ (limit to 8 to 12 ounces per day)

  • Making water your number one drink

Enjoy a quick salty snack

High salt snacks include:

  • Baked potato chips or pretzels

  • Tortilla chips with salsa

  • Cottage cheese with tomato or fresh fruit

  • Beef or turkey jerky

  • Pickles

  • Olives

  • Salted nuts or seeds

  • Raw vegetables with dip 

What if I don’t like salt?

Some people who do not like salt, use salt tablets. Salt tablets can be found at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Most are in the form of sodium chloride, which is the same as table salt.

  • Find a tablet with 1 gram of salt in each. Be sure to review the label for exact amounts.

  • Take salt tablets with at least 1 cup of water. You may need to take several tablets throughout the day. Your doctor will tell you how many to take and when to take them.

Teach Back

  • What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

  • What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770