Daily Intake of Salt: How Much Salt is Too Much?


It’s too simplistic to think of sodium as “bad.”

Yes, you should monitor your daily salt intake, but that doesn’t mean that all the sodium in your diet should get a boot.

Sodium is an essential mineral in your body to help Maintain fluid balancemuscle contraction, nerve conduction, and more Chelsea Amer, MS, RDN, owner of Chelsey Amer Nutrition.

There’s just one problem: Yes, sodium does play an important role in your body, “but it’s only needed in fairly small amounts,” she explains.

The problem is that salt is added to a lot of the packaged foods we eat.

Here’s what you need to know about your daily salt intake and whether you need to Break up with a salt shaker.

What is the recommended daily salt?

Woman shaking salt on pizza

Dietary Guidelines for Americans Adults are advised to limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day.

But there is more to this number.

Table salt explains about 40% of sodium Dana Ellis Hoeness, Ph.D., MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and upcoming book author A recipe for survival.

A full teaspoon of salt will put you at around the 2,300 mg mark.

(One teaspoon of salt weighs about 5 grams or 5,000 mg.)

But this number is just a general recommendation, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be right for everyone.

Why limit an essential mineral?

Hoeness explains that sodium makes you retain water, which increases blood volume. This, in turn, may increase blood pressure.

Over time, high blood pressure is likely to harm the kidneys And Blood vessels She adds that the heart and brain.

How much salt is too much?

Woman shaking salt in a bowl of eggs

The recommended daily salt intake is generally not appropriate for everyone.

For some people, even 2,300 mg is too much sodium. Hunnes says this includes people with:

  • Hypertension
  • Some heart diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Other medical conditions

“It is recommended that they eat less sodium than this,” she adds, because the potential increase in blood pressure or kidney damage is more serious.

Individuals with these conditions are usually instructed to maintain their daily sodium intake Less than 1500 mg.

Barring a doctor’s advice, you can safely follow the recommendation of 2,300 mg, Hunnes says.

But the average American consumes Much more every day. On average, we consume 3,393 milligrams per day, with a range of about 2,000 to 5,000 milligrams per day.

In fact, some people may need a slightly higher daily salt intake than others.

“If you sweat profusely, due to intense exercise or physical work outside on a hot day, for example, you may need to replenish this electrolyte to maintain fluid balance in your body,” explains Amer.

But this is not a free pass to pile salt!

If you have questions about exactly how much salt you need each day, it is best to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian about the recommended daily salt intake.

6 hidden sources of salt in your diet

bread on the table

Many store-bought foods are high in sodium, not necessarily the ones you suspect.

44% of the sodium in the average American’s diet comes from Only 10 food categories.

1. Bread

“Bread also commonly contains more sodium than you’d expect,” Amer says.

Always flip the package to Check the posterEspecially if you are sensitive to salt. The study found that bread was the number one source of sodium.

his regular bread 430 mg sodium!

2. sandwiches

Perhaps not surprisingly, sandwiches are now number three on our list of the best sources of sodium.

Between two slices of bread, prepared meats, cheese, and seasonings—all high in sodium—a sandwich can pack a punch.

3. Sauces

Store-bought pickles, salad dressings, and many pasta sauces are high in sodium.

Just 2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce can contain up to 350 mg of sodium. (try this Healthy barbecue sauce recipe While that!)

The solution? they make Homemade salad dressing to reduce sodium.

4. Cheese

Even the cheeses we love for other reasons are high in sodium.

cheeseFor example, “A great food that is rich in protein, but usually contains Too much sodium(Like 459 mg in 1/2 cup!)

This does not mean that you cannot enjoy it. Amer notes that its high sodium content is “an important thing to keep in mind in the context of your overall day.”

5. Chicken

Some chicken breasts in the grocery store have brine (translation: marinade) pumped into them to make them appear plump.

You think you only get meat, but You’re getting sodium sneaky with it.

Read the label to make sure your table salt has no added salt.

6. Soup

Your favorite soup (canned or from a restaurant) can contain very high levels of sodium.

Just one cup of canned chicken soup contains about a third (790 mg!) from your recommended daily sodium intake.

One way to control your daily salt intake is to skip the store-bought soup and make your own — here 25 healthy soup recipes to choose from!

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