Americans consume, on average about 3,400 hundred milligrams of sodium on a daily basis. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends less than 2,300 milligrams per day…which equals about 1 teaspoon. Ideally, the healthy limit is 1,500 milligrams.

Excessive sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Recently, the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, issued guidance for commercially processed, packaged and prepared foods to lower sodium levels. More than 70% of total sodium intake comes from these foods. Hot dogs, corn chips, frozen burritos, pre-made pasta salads, and the steak dinner from the restaurant are all loaded with added sodium. The FDA is encouraging food suppliers to lower sodium levels to help encourage better health.

-While the FDA recommendation would only decrease average sodium intake to 3,000 milligrams, per day, it is a step in the right direction.
-Reduce your daily sodium intake by targeting 1,500 milligrams or less:
-Read labels and take a pass on items that are loaded with sodium.
-Opt for foods that come from the earth, that have no labels.
-Cook your own food, using very little sodium.
-Request that restaurant meals be served without extra salt.
-Watch for added salt in bread, sauces, dressings, frozen foods, canned goods and even cheese. Salt is hidden in so many foods.

Take control of your sodium intake by limiting yourself to 2,300 or even the ideal 1,500 milligrams per day. Send a message to food manufacturers by not buying the high sodium options. You will help keep your blood pressure in check and stay away from the related health conditions.

by Christy Coughlin

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