At work, I cover the cardiac floors of the hospital and I am always telling patients to lower their sodium intake. Not only does excessive sodium intake raise blood pressure, which can develop into hypertension, it also retains fluid in the body. For people with heart and kidney disease, it’s harder for these organs to pump fluid and blood throughout the body. Too much fluid build up in the body can result in shortness of breath and can lead to hospitalization.

Don’t forget to check out our recipe for Low-Sodium Italian Tomato Sauce below!

Those without chronic health issues can also benefit from less sodium intake as a preventative health measure and by being able to taste the true flavors of food, rather than just salt. According to the American Heart Association®, 9 out of 10 adults consume excessive sodium with the average intake of around 3,400 mg daily. Adults in good health are recommended to take in no more than 2,300 mg (1 teaspoon) and 1,500 mg for those with heart disease.

Eliminating table salt is the first step in lowering sodium intake. A common misconception is that sea salt is healthier than table salt, which is in fact false. The American Heart Association® outlines that sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium. The next step is to look at Nutrition Fact labels when selecting food items . 65% of sodium intake comes from packaged foods, such as soups, breads, frozen meals and cured meats. Look for items labelled “no salt added” or “low sodium”. Also, season foods at home instead of purchasing pre-seasoned items; examples include frozen vegetables with sauces, flavored rices and pre-marinated meats.

Below is a table of commonly found tomato sauces found in most national grocery chains. There are, of course, many other brands and varieties of sauces found at different stores which may be lower in sodium than those listed below, but it is still surprising how much sodium is in these common household name-brand products. We’ve included a recipe for easy low sodium tomato sauce at the end of this article to help you save on cost and sodium intake.


Brand of sauce Serving size Sodium (mg)
Prego® Heart Smart Traditional ½ cup 360 mg
Prego® Traditional Pasta Sauce ½ cup 480 mg
Bertolli® Tomato and Basil Sauce ½ cup 460 mg
Ragu® No Sugar Added ½ cup 320 mg
Ragu® Garden Combination ½ cup 460 mg
Ragu® Organic Traditional ½ cup 470 mg

Nutrition Facts of products in table above available at respectable brand’s website.


Many of our other Nourished recipes are low in sodium, check them out below! For more information about heart disease and lowering sodium intake, check out the American Heart Association® at


Entree Recipes:

Blackened Fish Tacos

Spicy Sesame Chicken


Side Dish Recipes:

Garden Fresh Salsa

Refreshing Tabbouleh Salad

3 Ingredient Carrot Fries


Low-Sodium Italian Tomato Sauce

by: Lisa Kay MS, RD

About 4 servings



1- 15.5 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce

1- 6 oz. can no salt added tomato paste

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp sage

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano


  1. Combine all ingredients into a medium sauce pan.
  2. Heat on low and stir frequently for 5-10 minutes until warm.
  3. Store in air-tight container and refrigerate for up to one week. Sauce will have a more solid state when at a cold temperature, this is normal and will become liquid again when heated.


Serving Suggestions

Use sauce as a marinara with pasta and pizza. Also great for adding tomato flavor to soups and stews. Add sauteed onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and bell peppers to bulk up your sauce and add veggies to your meal.



½ cup serving         Calorie: 79 calories          Fat (g): 0 gm          Sodium (mg): 51 gm           Protein (g): 4 gm          Carbs (g): 13 gm