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Dietary Guidelines on Sodium

Could You Limit Your Salt Intake to Less Than a Teaspoon?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are getting a rewrite next month, and the guiding committee is deciding how to revise its recommendations as we speak, including the amount of sodium we should be ingesting. And it seems that they think we are still not getting the picture about the amount of salt we are overloading our food with.

Although the current guidelines state that we should be consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt), the average American consumes over 1,000 mg more than that. But the committee's proposed recommendation would change the max to 1,500 mg a day. That 800-mg difference means a teaspoon less of soy sauce (921 mg) with your sushi, or a sandwich without a pickle (833 mg) or two fewer slices of ham (810 mg) than the current guidelines suggest.

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, so cutting your sodium intake is always a good idea. If you find that you are consuming too much — and watch out for prepared foods that aren't as apparently loaded with salt, like cornflakes (300 mg per cup), jar sauces (1,030 mg per cup of marinara), and canned vegetables (330 mg in canned beets and 400 mg in canned peas) — try these 7 tips for reducing your sodium intake.

Source: Flickr User _nickd

Join The Conversation
Soniabonya Soniabonya 6 years
I hardly ever salt my foods anymore. Not a fan of it. Even when I cook, I only do a little of what the recipe calls for. If whatever's on the plate tastes bland to someone they can salt it to their own liking. When I eat out, I do find foods to be extremely salty. :\
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
I would stab anyone who tried to take my salt away! :P Seriously though, if I ate at home all the time and cooked my own meals (not relied on convenience foods), I could absolutely do it. It's so true that you get used to salt and food tastes bland without it. I want to try to phase out some salt, adapt my taste buds.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I don't think I could do it--I love my salt and I have excellent blood pressure. I am very active and I do sweat a lot. I generally avoid most processed foods and only add salt to the food I prepare and it's generally less than a teaspoon a day, but sometimes it's a little more than that.
amber512 amber512 6 years
But also, to be fair, I HATE salty food.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I track my sodium and get less than a teaspoon every day. I make my own salad dressings and sauces. That helps a LOT. Now, if I happen to eat at a restaurant or a little extra, the amount definitely goes up!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 6 years
depends on the day i think...some days I eat over the 1500 and some days are under!
TiVo TiVo 6 years
Nope! I couldn't do it. I don't eat a lot of chips or fries, and I don't eat out much. However, I know there's salt in a lot of stuff I eat (such as pasta sauce, cheese, etc.).
yse yse 6 years
eep no. But I have low blow pressure (86/60) and am very active so I'm not sure if that guideline would really work for me. Then again, I eat nearly no processed foods (like jarred suaces ... etc...) so maybe I don't eat that much as it is.
fizzymartini fizzymartini 6 years
My whole family cut down on salt due to my dad's health about a year ago. Now when I eat out, I find everything too salty.
lemuse20 lemuse20 6 years
I could, but only if I stayed home 100% of the time. And even then it would be a bit challenging to check the sodium on everything (something I try to do anyway). I think the fact of the matter is that people have become accustomed to very salty foods, and anything less seems too bland. Why would restaurants want to cheat flavor for the sake of guidelines? I don't think the guidelines can be achieved unless -all- restaurants and food brands limited the salt they put in their food.
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