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Diet and Nutrition

Sodium content of vinegar?

03/15/1999

Question:

I am supposed to follow a relatively low sodium diet (<2000 mg/day). I know most prepared salad dressings are very high in sodium. If I just make a vinegar and oil dressing, maybe with some herbs, would that also be high in sodium? I can't seem to find the sodium content of vinegar, and I don't like salad without some kind of dressing. I do know that it is used in pickling, and pickles tend to be high in sodium.

thanks.

Answer:

Thanks for your question. I could not find the sodium content of vinegar either. But, to my knowledge, vinegar is not a source of sodium. Vinegar is "soured wine" which is very acidic, but not laden with sodium. It is touted as a blood thinner, as well as a disinfectant for your bathroom! In your case, it would be a great way to season a salad. Commercial salad dressings tend to be high in sodium due to salt added for flavoring, as well as sodium containing preservatives (such as sodium EDTA and sodium guanylate) used to extend shelf life. Flavored vinegars (such as balsamic or raspberry) and olive oil with herbs are an excellent way to season your salad without adding sodium to your diet. You may also want to add fresh garlic and onions to season your salad which add flavor and also the health benefit of phytochemicals (non-nutritive substances in fruits and vegetables which have been found to prevent heart disease and cancer by acting as antioxidants). In following a low sodium diet, your best bet is to avoid processed foods. Foods such as hot dogs, lunch meat, canned soups, vegetables and sauces, commerical rice and pasta dishes, chips & pretzels and V-8 juice are loaded with sodium. Choose fresh or frozen foods prepared without salt whenever possible, and you should do fine. I hope this information helped you. Good luck!

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati