S is for Sodium


Nutrition Tip Thursday

By Hayley Jacobs, Dietetic Intern

The USDA’s recommendation for sodium intake is set at 2,300 mg/day. Unfortunately, Americans are far exceeding that amount. Roughly, the average intake of sodium is around 3,400 mg/day.

What some may not be aware of is 2,300 mg/day is actually the tolerable upper limit* for sodium while 1,500 mg/day is the amount organizations are now pushing for the population to limit their intake to.

Sodium is excess can lead to

  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease

Ways to limit sodium intake include

  • Refraining from putting additional salt on meals
  • Choosing low sodium meals
  • Using fresh, rather than packaged foods
  • Choose “fresh frozen” rather than “frozen” to assure there is no additional salt
  • Reading food labels
  • Substitute salt with other seasonings in recipes such as herbs and spices


Salt is an acquired taste, the longer you go without incorporating excess amounts into your diet, the less you are going to crave it. It typically takes around 6-8vweeks to adapt to a lower sodium diet. At that point you may find the foods you previously loved way too salty!

*The highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population.