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How Much Is Too Much

... Pooja Reddy/Unbound:

Did you know that a single teaspoon of salt contains  2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium and our daily sodium intake limit is less than 2,300 mg a day or 1,500 mg if you're age 51 or older.

An average person gets 3,400 mg of sodium a day, which much more than recommended. 

Here’s a list of food with high sodium content:

  • Processed and prepared foods: Processed foods include bread, frozen meals, meat and egg dishes, pizza, cold cut meat , cheese, soups, and fast foods.
  • Natural sources: These foods include all vegetables and dairy products, meat.
  • Added Sodium sources: Many recipes contain salt. Condiments also may contain sodium like soy.

Why is sodium necessary?

  • Helps maintain body fluids
  • Helps transmit nerve impulses
  • Maintains contraction and relaxation of muscles

But if sodium intake becomes excessive then your kidneys tend to retain sodium, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. There are chances that this might become chronic if the situation continues causing heart diseases, strokes, kidney diseases and congestive heart failure.

The daily recommended salt intake:

1 to 3 years – 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)

4 to 6 years – 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)

7 to 10 years – 5g salt a day (2g sodium)

11 years and over – 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium)

How to cut down sodium intake:

Few changes in our everyday food habits can make a big difference. All you need to do is to replace few foods with healthier alternatives. 

  • Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, because they are naturally low in sodium.
  • Choose low-sodium products by looking at the sodium content in them before buying them. 
  • Limit salt by cutting it down in foods especially.,homemade. Try low salt recipes and remember to add as less salt as possible and limit the amount being added in your food everyday.
  • Many condiments like soy sauce,dips,ketchup,mustard are high in sodium. Limit the use of such sodium-laden condiments by replacing them with natural flavourings like herbs and spices.