Sodium Intake and Health
- Your body needs a small amount of sodium to work properly, but too much sodium is bad for your health.
- While sodium has many forms, most sodium we consume is from salt.
- Most Americans consume too much sodium.
- Most sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods.
Eating too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease and stroke. Together, heart disease and stroke kill more Americans each year than any other cause. Reducing your sodium intake can help lower your blood pressure and improve the health of your heart.
Tips for reducing sodium intake at the store, at home and dining out.
Impact of sodium and potassium intake on high blood pressure and risk for heart disease.
Science supporting sodium reduction and sodium intake recommendations.
Most People Eat Too Much Sodium
Americans consume more than 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, on average. This is well above the federal recommendation of less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily as part of a healthy eating pattern.
Salt and sodium are not the same. Salt is sodium chloride which is table salt. Sodium chloride is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2,400 mg of sodium.
Sodium is a mineral found in many foods including:
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
- Sodium nitrate (a preservative).
Sodium From Everyday Foods Adds Up
More than 40% of the sodium we eat each day comes from just 10 types of foods. Breads and rolls as the top source. Eggs and omelets are the tenth leading source of sodium.
|Top 10 Sources of Sodium|
|For the General Population||For People Ages 6–18|
|*Chips, popcorn, pretzels, snack mixes, and crackers|