Sodium & Hypertension

It is acknowledged that Americans consume more sodium than needed. Evidence has clearly established a link between sodium intake and high blood pressure. Further, the relation between high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease is equally documented. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be lowered by lowering dietary intake of sodium.

Sodium dietary guidelines for American adults are currently being met by less than 1% of the population. It is estimated that 25% of adults have hypertension, and 50% of adults have some stage of high blood pressure.

In 1984 the FDA added sodium to the list of nutrients required on food labeling. It was the FDA’s intentions to provide consumers with sodium information about a food product relative to their overall diet. However, the food industries use of different serving sizes on labels of similar foods makes a side-by-side comparison of food labels impractical for making informed dietary choices.

Americans are consuming more sodium than recommended primarily because, although they are aware of its harmful effects, they are unable to judge whether the amount of sodium in their daily diet is acceptable. Bear in mind that 1 teaspoon of table salt contains 2,325 mg of sodium and 1 dash approximately 155 mg.

 

Recommend Daily Intakes Levels for Sodium

Children Sodium, mg
1 - 3 years 1000
4 - 8 years 1200
Male Adults Sodium, mg
9 - 13 years 1500
14 - 18 years 1500
19 - 30 years  1500 
31 - 50 years   1500
51 - 70 years   1300
Over 70   1200
Female Adults Sodium, mg
9 - 13 years 1500
14 - 18 years 1500
19 - 30 years  1500 
31 - 50 years   1500
51 - 70 years   1300
Over 70   1200
Pregnancy & Lactation   1500

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Sodium dietary guidelines for American adults are currently being met by less than 1% of the population.