Diet and Nutrition

What Can Too Much Sodium Do to My Body?

What Can Too Much Sodium Do to My Body?

Key Takeaways

  • Restaurants commonly serve food products that have high levels of sodium.
  • Increased amounts of sodium lead to high blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart diseases and stroke.
  • A person should intake about 2,300 mg of salt per day, but this amount is lower for people above 50-years-old and for those who have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney troubles.

A recent CDC report shows that many of restaurants and grocery stores have food that contain extremely high levels of sodium in its product. Breads and rolls were noted to be the most important culprits among these.

 Some of the foods that contribute to almost 44% of the sodium content that we consume include:

  • Breads and rolls
  • Lunch meats such as deli ham and turkey
  • Pizza
  • Poultry
  • Soups
  • Cheeseburgers and other sandwiches
  • Cheese
  • Pasta dishes
  • Meat dishes
  • Snack foods including chips, pretzels, and popcorn

Salt intake

Increased amounts of sodium lead to high blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart diseases and stroke. Normally, a person gets approximately 3,300 mg of sodium from food per day. This does not include the salt added at the table. As per the US dietary guidelines, a person requires only less than 2,300 mg of salt in a day. This amount is even lower if the age is above 50-years-old, and for those who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney troubles.

Cutting down the intake of the above said foods by 25% will reduce total sodium intake by 10%. According to CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, this will prevent approximately 28,000 deaths in per year.

Some snack and food manufacturers have taken the cue and are trying to reduce the salt content in their products. Thomas R. Frieden adds that Kraft foods have committed to reduce the salt levels by an average of 10% in their products within two years. Leprino, the leading producer of cheese for pizza, is also working towards providing healthier options in their products.