How Much Salt is Too Much?
Consumers want to know - exactly how much salt is too much?
Most consumers are aware of the notion that too much sodium can be bad for your health. Consumers are still unsure, however, of exactly how much salt is too much salt.
The American Heart Association, along with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other health organizations, recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. That’s about 1 teaspoon of salt—but much of it comes from processed and restaurant foods and not from the salt shaker. Studies show that many people are consuming far more than this 2,300 mg of sodium recommended target. In general, the average American consumes around 3,400 mg of sodium (nearly 1.5 teaspoons of salt) in a day; experts think that’s too much. (1)
There’s also such a thing as consuming too little sodium, and is often caused by heart, kidney or liver problems, certain medications, dehydration, or hormonal issues. (2) Salt generally contains just two minerals, sodium and chloride, which are essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly. These important electrolytes assist in regulating fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle function. (3)
Exactly the right amount of sodium to consume per day can be different for everyone. The ideal sodium intake for you varies depending on your overall health status, age, gender, race and could be affected by your family history. (4) Be sure to consult with your doctor to understand what your ideal sodium intake should be.