Common table salt is called sodium chloride. Most of the sodium we eat comes from sodium chloride. However, most of the sodium we eat does not come from the salt shaker. About 75% of our sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods. Since sodium is already added to food before we buy it, it can be difficult, but not impossible, to limit how much sodium is in our diet.
Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which raises risk for heart attack and stroke.
The bottom line: Most Americans have too much sodium in their diet.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults, in general, should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. However, some people need to consume even less than that. People who:
- Are 51 years old or older
- Are African-American
- Have high blood pressure
- Have diabetes
- Have chronic kidney disease
should only consume 1,500mg per day.
There is 2,300 mg of sodium in just one teaspoon of salt.
It is very important to read the nutrition facts label when purchasing food. Even in the same type of food, the sodium content can vary widely. Click here for more information about label reading and sodium intake.