Hold the Salt!

Sodium (salt) is an important component for healthy body functioning. However, not much is needed each day to do the job. Consuming too much sodium is one of several risks factor for developing high blood pressure (hypertension). The average American consumes 3400 mg of sodium daily. This is much more than currently advised by the American Heart Association (www.heart.org) and the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).

It is recommended that people age 50 and under try to keep their salt intake to no more than 2300 mg/day. This is equal to one teaspoon. If you are age 51 or older, are of any age and African-American, or any age with a chronic disease such as diabetes or hypertension, try to limit your daily salt intake to no more than 1500 mg/day (less than 3/4 teaspoon).

Reducing salt intake is just one of many treatment recommendations for those with hypertension. See your healthcare provider for consultation on what you can do to keep your blood pressure under control.

Tagged: hypertension, lmh, sodium, diabetes, lawrence memorial hospital, salt


verity 4 years, 11 months ago

There is another side to this issue which rarely, if ever, gets talked about. I was visiting my aunt in a nursing facility and started talking to the woman who was staying next door. She had decided to go on a low salt diet (after all, that's healthy, isn't it?) and ended up in the care facility for 4-5 weeks because the level of sodium in her body became too low.

Drinking too much water can also cause the electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate) in your body to become dangerously low. All the advice we read about drinking a certain amount of water everyday (and that amount varies from 8 to 13 glasses) never seems to mention that it depends on your body, your size, your environment and what you are doing.

I would like to see more information on how salt actually affects things like blood pressure so I can make an informed choice, not just "cut back on the salt."

Dean Smart 4 years, 11 months ago

You will want to see this: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/jama-sodium-study-flawed/

And note that may are iodine deficient and cutting salt use can make that a lot worse.

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