What Is The Recommended Daily Salt Intake?
Did you know that on average, Americans consume 50% more sodium than what is recommended? This could be because we don't know what the recommended daily salt intake is, or we're simply eating too many salty foods that we're unaware of. Keep reading to find out the real answer and what salt is doing to us.
Recommended Daily Sodium Intake
Before we jump into facts about salt, you're probably wondering what the actual recommended daily salt intake is. We previously went over the amount of grams in sugar you should have a day, but what about sodium? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that the daily sodium intake for all Americans, men or women, should ideally be less than 1,500 mg per day. On the contrary, standard dietary guidelines says no more than 2,300 mg daily. That's about 1 teaspoon of salt - per day! Many people are unaware of this, so it's easy to go over this 1 teaspoon of salt just by having one packaged snack.
Health Risks Of Having Too Much Salt
It's important for someone to monitor their salt intake because of all the health risks involved. Especially if you're overweight or have a family history of heart problems, be extra cautious. The number one health risk of having too much salt is heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. Extra salt in our system increases our blood pressure and blocks blood vessels, which makes our hearts work harder to pump blood throughout our system. Keep your heart healthy and be more aware of how much salt you're putting into your body.
Salty Food Replacements
The salt you sprinkle on your own food is honestly the least of your worries. Foods that have a surprising amount of salt in them are the ones that are packaged, processed, or made at a restaurant. Foods to be wiry of are pickles, pretzels, chips, muffins, and cookies. In addition, watch warehouse foods or products that are designed to sit on a shelf for a long time. Keep in mind salt is a natural preservative, and there's a lot of it in there! Plus any food that tastes really good at restaurants or fast food joints - probably the amount of salt added. We compiled a small list below of some less salty alternatives to your favorite foods.
- Swap out cereal for oats
- Have actual blueberries instead of a blueberry muffin
- Replace ham and cheese with grilled chicken
- Always have regular water over coconut water, soda, etc.
- Eat snap peas and nuts instead of pretzels or cheese
- Opt for dark chocolate instead of cookies or brownies