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- Regulation of fluid balance
- Maintenance of acid-base balance
- Carbon dioxide transport
- Muscle contraction
- Nerve impulse transmission
- Adults aged 51 years and older
- African Americans
- People with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease
Adequate Intake (AI)
|Children: 1-3 years||1,000 mg|
|Children: 4-8 years||1,200 mg|
|Children: 9-18 years||1,500 mg|
|Adults: 19-50 years||1,500 mg|
|Adults 51-70 years||1,300 mg|
|Adults 71 years and older||1,200 mg|
Too Little Sodium
Too Much Sodium
Major Food Sources
- Beef broth
- Commercial soups
- French fries
- Potato chips
- Salted snack foods
- Sandwich meats
- Tomato-based products
- Milk products
- Soft water
Reading Food Labels
|Food Label Term||Meaning|
|Sodium free||Less than 5 mg/serving|
|Very low sodium||35 mg or less/serving|
|Low sodium||140 mg or less/serving|
|Reduced sodium||25% reduction per serving in sodium content from original product|
|Unsalted, no salt added, without added salt||Processed without salt when salt normally would be used in processing|
Tips for Lowering Your Sodium Intake
- Read the nutrition label to find out how much sodium is in the foods you are buying.
- Gradually cut down on the amount of salt you use. Your taste buds will adjust to less salt.
- Taste your food before you salt it.
- Substitute flavorful ingredients for salt in cooking, such as garlic, oregano, lemon or lime juice, and other herbs, spices, and seasonings.
- Opt for fresh foods instead of processed ones. For example, select fresh or plain frozen vegetables and meats instead of those canned with salt.
- Look for low sodium or reduced sodium, or no salt added versions of such foods as: canned vegetables; vegetable juices; dried soup mixes; bouillon; condiments; snack foods; crackers and bakery products; canned soups; butter, margarine; cheeses; canned tuna; and processed meats.
- Cook and eat at home. Adjust your recipes to gradually cut down on the amount of salt you use. If some of the ingredients already contain salt, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, or cheese, you do not need to add more salt.
- Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereals without salt or with less salt than the package calls for. Flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes generally already contain added salt.
- Limit your use of condiments such as soy sauce, dill pickles, salad dressings, and packaged sauces.
- When dining out, order a low-salt meal or ask the chef not to add salt to your meal.
- Also when dining out, ask for sauces and dressings to be served on the side, so that you can control the amount that you add.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
Choose My Plate http://www.choosemyplate.gov
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html
Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Food salt & health. Salt Institute website. Available at: http://www.saltinstitute.org/Issues-in-focus/Food-salt-health. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Nephrolithiasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated March 7, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Reduce salt and sodium in your diet. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/prevent/sodium/sodium.htm. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Salt. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/salt/index.htm. Updated December 14, 2012. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Salt and sodium. 10 tips to help you cut back. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet14SaltAndSodium.pdf. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Sodium. Health Vitamins Guide website. Available at: http://www.healthvitaminsguide.com/minerals/sodium.htm. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Sodium (salt or sodium chloride). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride%5FUCM%5F303290%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 5, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Sodium Chloride. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated January 18, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013
- Update Date: 03/07/2013