Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Sodium

For the healthy adult, 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.

However, if you're building your meal plate on 2400 milligrams - you may want to toss that outdated number aside and start anew with the American Heart Association's newest daily recommendation of sodium established at 1500 milligrams. Your heart will thank you with a steady beat. But before decreasing the former recommended intake, be sure you verify the amount your body requires with your doing before doing such.

Food Sources

One doesn't have to look long and hard to find foods in the common America diet that contain salt - and at times, an overwhelming amount. Some that rise to the top include: table salt, commercially processed soups, pickled foods, deli meats, fast food, restaurant foods, casseroles, chips. Here are a few more foods high in salt and their milligram content.

Beets - 40 mg per 1/2 cup, boiled
Celery - 50 mg per 1/2 cup, raw
Spinach - 65 mg per 1/2 cup, boiled

Kelp - 65 mg per 1/2 cup, raw

Swiss Chard - 160 mg per 1/2 cup, boiled

Beet Greens - 175 mg per 1/2 cup, boiled

Oysters - 190 mg per 3 ounces, steamed

Shrimp - 195 mg per 3 ounces, steamed

Wakame - 245 mg per 1 ounce, raw

Whelks - 350 mg per 3 ounces, steamed

Deficiency Signs & Symptoms of Sodium

Weakness, apathy, decrease in blood pressure, shock.

Toxicity - Overuse Signs & Symptoms

Bloating, swelling and a decrease in urine output.

Only a minimal amount of individuals are free of the side effects of sodium overload. The most common side effects include:

1. Bloating, abdominal discomfort.

2. Weight gain as salt acts like a sponge, retaining water in the body.

3. The heart is compromised as blood pressure levels rise in many of those individuals who are impacted.

Functions in the Body

Sodium is an electrolyte and used in balancing water in the body, in generating electrical messages necessary for muscle contraction and nerve transmission, and to control heart rhythms. Salt is necessary for the regulation of energy release, heart action, acid base regulation and bone health.

Foods & Drinks Containing Sodium

Food - Based on 1 cup unless stated.


Leavening agents, baking soda, 1 teaspoon


Fast Foods, biscuit, with egg and sausage - one


Cheese sauce, prepared from recipe


Refried beans, canned, traditional style


Pork, cured, ham, whole, separable lean only, roasted, 3 oz


Beans, baked, canned, with franks


Beans, baked, canned, with pork and tomato sauce


Fast foods, pancakes with butter and syrup, 2 pancakes


Potatoes, au gratin, dry mix, prepared with water, whole milk and butter


Potatoes, au gratin, home-prepared from recipe using butter


Fast foods, cheeseburger; double - 1 sandwich


Sauce, pasta, spaghetti/marinara, ready-to-serve


Fast foods, taco with beef, cheese and lettuce, hard shell, 1 large


Pork, cured, ham, whole, separable lean and fat, roasted, 3 oz


Fast foods, chili con carne


Chili con carne with beans, canned entree


Pie crust, standard-type, prepared from recipe, baked, 1 shell


Fast foods, hotdog, with corn flour coating (corndog) - 1


Soup, bean with ham, canned, chunky, ready-to-serve


Fast foods, cheeseburger; double, regular patty; plain - 1


Fast foods, chicken fillet sandwich, plain - one


Fast foods, cheeseburger, double, regular patty and bun, plain - one


Fast foods, fish sandwich, with tartar sauce and cheese - one


Soup, beef noodle, canned, prepared with equal volume water


Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milkfat


Crustaceans, crab, Alaska king, cooked, moist heat, 3 oz


Fast foods, chimichanga, with beef - one


Pork, cured, ham, extra lean and regular, canned, roasted, 3 oz


Soy sauce made from soy and wheat (shoyu), 1 Tablespoon


Beef stew, canned entree


Vitamin Index


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