What is salt? Should we limit or avoid sodium intake ?
There is no reason to restrict sodium from your body unless you have a medical condition such as hypertension (high blood pressure) in which your body is salt sensitive. Sodium is a mineral that’s essential for life. It’s regulated in the body by your kidneys, and it helps control your body’s fluid balance. It also helps send nerve impulses and affects muscle function. Drink lots of water daily.
What should my daily sodium intake be?
* “The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.”
How can I tell how much sodium I’m eating?
You can find the amount of sodium in your food by looking at the Nutrition Facts label. The amount of sodium per serving is listed in milligrams, abbreviated “mg.” Check the ingredient list for words like sodium, salt and soda. The total sodium shown on the Nutrition Facts label includes the sodium from salt, plus the sodium from any other sodium-containing ingredient in the product (for example, ingredients like sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate [MSG], or sodium benzoate).
Here are sodium-related terms you may see on food packages:
* Sodium-free – Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving and contains no sodium chloride
* Very low sodium – 35 milligrams or less per serving
* Low sodium – 140 milligrams or less per serving
* Reduced (or less) sodium – At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level
* Light (for sodium-reduced products – If the food is “low calorie” and “low fat” and sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving
* Light in sodium – If sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving.
Is there such a thing as eating too little sodium?
The body needs only a small amount of sodium (less than 500 milligrams per day) to function properly. That’s a mere smidgen — the amount in less than ¼ teaspoon. Practically no one in this country even comes close to eating less than that amount. Healthy kidneys are great at retaining the sodium that our bodies need.
Coaching or Questions:
*Reference: American Heart Association