Recommended Daily Sodium Intake -
Find the Facts

Your Recommended Daily Sodium Intake ranges from 1500 mg to an upper limit of 2300 mg.

Most people living in the United States and Canada consume more than their upper limit of sodium regularly!

Where is all this sodium? Are we heavy with the salt shaker? Most sodium comes from processed foods and restaurant food.

So the solution is easy but takes time - make your own food. The salt you add is far less than you get from processed foods.

Daily Sodium Intake

180-500 mg
Minimum sodium needed daily

1500 mg sodium
Recommended daily intake
*Upper limit if you are any of the following: 51 years old and over, African American, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease

2300 mg sodium
Upper limit

3436 mg sodium
What most children and adults in western countries consume!

These recommendations are for persons 2 years of age - Adult.

How much is 1500 mg daily sodium intake?

So how much salt is 1500 mg, our daily recommended intake?

A little more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

That's about 50 shakes of salt from your salt shaker. (I used my salt shaker from our kitchen and measured how many shakes equal 1/2 teaspoons - plus a little more to get 1500 mg of sodium.)

So if your food all day didn't contain any sodium at all, you could use about 50 shakes of salt.

But when you start looking, you might be surprised how much canned foods, box mixes, bottled sauces and dressing, crackers, breads, and bakery items we consume.

Are Sodium and Salt the same thing?

Almost. Salt contains sodium, but most people use the terms interchangeably.

Table salt is sodium chloride (NaCl). It contains 40% sodium and 60% chloride.

So 100 mg of sodium would be 250 mg salt. (Multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5 to get the value of salt.)

Salt is good - You need it to survive. But too much can raise your blood pressure.

Get more information about the recommended daily sodium intake at these websites:

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Find information on sodium starting on page 21.)

Next: List of Low Sodium Foods

Return to Healthy Eating Guidelines (from Recommended Daily Sodium Intake)

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