Sodium in Foods, Tips to Reduce Sodium Intake, Recommended Daily Amount
Article by Diet Bites
Salt in the Daily Diet, Including Amounts in Common Food Favorites
How the Body Uses Sodium
Sodium, derived most commonly from table salt, is used by the body to: balance water, generate electrical messages necessary for muscle contraction and nerve transmission, and to control heart rhythms. It is vital to the body's existence, yet too much sodium can present serious health conditions.
Symptoms of Too Much Sodium in the Body
The chief symptoms of excess sodium intake are swelling and a decrease in urine output.
Salt goes hand in hand with heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke so it's wise to know just how much sodium we're sprinkling on Mother Nature's Pure Harvest. Simply reducing sodium intake can do all sorts of wonderful things to our bodies - from lowering blood pressure to preventing water retention which translates into pounds on the scales - though temporary pounds they might be.
The USDA Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Sodium Intake equals no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is just a tab more than a teaspoon of table salt. Of course, body size and weight also play an important element in the Sodium Factor, so 2,400 milligrams per day may be too much sodium for the smaller than average individual.
Natural Food Sources Containing Salt
The daily diet tends to contain adequate sodium to meet daily requirements. The following foods are just a few examples of foods rich in this element - naturally.
*Natural foods high in sodium include:
Beets - 40 mg per 1/2 cup, boiled
Processed foods high in sodium include:
Pickled foods such as olives, pickles, beets & pig feet; smoked fish, cheese and of course, salt. Most processed foods contain high levels of sodium - from chips to dips - so be sure to check those labels.
Sodium Content of Basic Foods, Fast Foods, Beverages
Salt content varies from product to product, recipe to recipe.
Fruits, Pastas, Vegetables, Breads, Candy, Jams, Dairy, Oils
Fruit | Grains, Pasta, Cereals | Vegetables | Breads - Bagels, Rolls, Muffins, Cornbread | Dairy Products - Cheese, Butter, Eggs, Milk | Beer & Beverages | Fish & Shellfish | Protein Rich Foods | Sodium in Fast Foods | Sodium in Tea & Coffee | McDonald's: Sodium in Menu Selections | Sodium in Beef | Fast Food, Salt Content | Daily Salt Intake
Tips to Reduce Sodium in the Diet
Rather than sprinkling on the salt, grab your measuring spoons. Keep in mind that 1 teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium - just shy of the USDA daily recommendation.
For processed foods, check labels for salt content.
Reach for the herbs and spices rather than the old salt shaker.
When dining out, request less salt in your entrees.
If you find that you have overdosed on salt, reach for water which will help get rid of the excess sodium faster. Take care not to overdo on water intake which can also have serious consequences. RDA - 8 cups of water per day.
Ethnic Breakdown - Average Salt Consumption Based on Ethnicity*
Amount Based on Food Groups*
*Diet Bites Charts Based on Data From the USDA