Low-sodium diets are commonly prescribed to people with kidney disease, heart disease or high blood pressure in order to manage symptoms and prevent complications. Find a clinic. Keep in mind that these are upper limits, and less is usually best, especially if you’re sensitive to the effects of sodium. The ongoing scientific debate over dietary sodium goals hinges on evidence, and unfortunately the evidence is incomplete and inconclusive. First Name Optional. The Nutrition Facts label found on most packaged and processed foods lists the amount of sodium in each serving. Virtually all Americans can benefit from reducing the sodium in their diets. Most health-conscious men already know that sodium raises blood pressure—and that high blood pressure, in turn, boosts the risk of heart disease and stroke. Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease Healthy-eating tip: Don’t forget fiber High-fructose corn syrup High-protein diets Alcohol during the holidays: 4 ways to sip smarter Holiday weight: How to maintain, not gain How the right diet can help an overactive bladder Takeout containers Is there more to hydration than water? Learning about sodium in foods and exploring new ways to prepare foods can help you achieve your sodium goal. Show references DASH eating plan.
Americans eat on average about 3, mg of sodium per day. Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Explore now. Keeping sodium in check is part of following an overall healthy eating pattern. Salt substitutes are sometimes made from potassium, so read the label. Keep in mind that these are upper limits, and less is usually best, especially if you’re sensitive to the effects of sodium. Such diseases as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced.
Find out how much sodium you really need, what high-sodium foods to avoid, and ways to prepare and serve foods without adding sodium. If you’re like many people, you’re getting far more sodium than is recommended, and that could lead to serious health problems. You probably aren’t even aware of just how much sodium is in your diet. Consider that a single teaspoon of table salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride, has 2, milligrams mg of sodium — more than the daily amount recommended in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension DASH diet. And it’s not just table salt you have to worry about. Many processed and prepared foods contain sodium. Your kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your body sodium is low, your kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine. But if for some reason your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to build up in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder and increases pressure in your arteries.
Remember to drink up Yerba mate Show more related content. Many foods that do not taste salty may still be high in sodium. Sodium is most concentrated in processed and packaged foods like chips, frozen dinners and fast food where salt is added during processing to enhance flavor. Give today.