Mini Guide on Sodium Intake
Timeless Nutrition Tip
There is much confusion regarding salt and just how much we can or should consume. However, there is a truce here - most experts do agree there are benefits from moderate intake -- no more than 2.400mg daily. That is equal to 1-1/4-teaspoon total from all sources.
Today, in the modern American diet, the average consumption is 3,400mg. It is suggested by authorities that healthy adults should limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day.
Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts.
There is evidence that those who suffer high blood pressure and cut their sodium intake down to 1,500mg daily show such benefit that some can even stop medication, as long as they continue to restrict sodium in their diets.
Sodium intake recommendations do not exist for infants, children, and adolescents. Eating habits and attitudes about food formed during childhood are likely to influence eating habits for life. For this reason, moderate intake of sodium is suggested.
Another bonus: Reduced sodium eating may lower your risk of cataracts. To help you sort through the confusion regarding sodium intake, here are a few noteable notes:
- Most of your sodium comes from processed foods.
- Check labels and try to eat foods with less than 200mg per serving.
- Avoid all foods with 800mg or more per serving.
UPDATE: Dietary Reference Intakes
The National Academies' Institute of Medicine has recently released new Dietary Reference Intakes for salt. It recommends that we should consume no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium per day. This is down from the previously recommended 2.400 milligrams. That 1500 milligrams equals about 2/3 teaspoon of salt. See also: Tips for a Low Sodium Diet.