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Part of healthy eating is eating less sodium, or salt.
Does this sound hard?
It doesn't have to be, but you do have to think about it. You need to do more than just not use the salt shaker. After all, almost all foods contain sodium naturally or as an ingredient.
You can start reducing the sodium in your diet by:
For good health, less is best. Most people shouldn't eat more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day.1
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, if you are African-American, or if you are older than age 50, try to limit the amount of sodium you eat to less than 1,500 mg a day.1
Your doctor also may have suggested that you limit your salt to a certain amount every day.
The recommendation for sodium in adults never changes.
The recommendation can change. If you develop high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, you need to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium instead of 2,300 mg.
The recommendation does change. If you develop high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, you need to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium instead of 2,300 mg.
Some people wonder why they need to cut back on sodium. And that's a good question.
You may not be able to see or feel how sodium affects your body. If anything, you can taste what sodium does, and for many of us, it tastes good.
But by limiting sodium, you may be able to control blood pressure. High blood pressure can be dangerous. It has no symptoms, so you might not know you have it. And high blood pressure can lead to more serious problems, like a heart attack or stroke.
Try not to eat high-sodium foods. These include:
If you know how much sodium is in foods, you can have more flexibility in what you eat. If you eat one high-sodium food, you can balance it with very low-sodium foods during the rest of the day. To do this:
In general, the biggest source of sodium in our diets is:
In general, the biggest source of sodium in our diets isn't salt added at the table. Processed foods and foods from restaurants are the biggest contributors of sodium in our diets.
In general, the biggest source of sodium in our diets is processed foods and foods from restaurants.
In general, the biggest source of sodium in our diets isn't salt added in cooking. The biggest contributors of sodium in our diets are processed foods and foods from restaurants.
In general, the biggest source of sodium in our diets isn't milk. Milk has about 100 mg of sodium per 8 fl oz (240 mL). Processed foods and foods from restaurants are the biggest contributors of sodium in our diets.
Now that you have read this information, you can begin to cut down on the sodium in your diet.
Talk with your doctor (family doctor, dietitian, or nurse).
If you would like more information on the sodium content of foods, how to limit sodium, or how to follow a diet for heart failure, the following resources are available:
|American Heart Association (AHA)|
|7272 Greenville Avenue|
|Dallas, TX 75231|
Visit the American Heart Association (AHA) website for information on physical activity, diet, and various heart-related conditions. You can search for information on heart disease and stroke, share information with friends and family, and use tools to help you make heart-healthy goals and plans. Contact the AHA to find your nearest local or state AHA group. The AHA provides brochures and information about support groups and community programs, including Mended Hearts, a nationwide organization whose members visit people with heart problems and provide information and support.
|National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)|
|P.O. Box 30105|
|Bethesda, MD 20824-0105|
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) information center offers information and publications about preventing and treating:
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Last Revised: July 12, 2012
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