Sodium Sources to Avoid

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining proper nerve signaling, muscle function, and levels of fluids within the body.  Sodium is “essential” for all life to exist, so it is naturally found in almost all foods and rarely does salt need to be added. 


Over-consumption of sodium is common in today’s society and can lead to high blood pressure which in turn leads to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The current percent daily value for sodium is 2400mg, however, the American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure eat less that 1500mg per day, or less than 3/4 of a table spoon of salt.


Deficiency of sodium can occur in people after excessive vomiting or diarrhea, in athletes after excessive sweating or who intake excessive amounts of water, or in people who continually fast on water or juice alone.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are overconsuming sodium in a big way. The average American's daily sodium intake was 3,266 mg per day, which far exceeds the government's recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg.

The study found that 10 foods account for 44% of of all the sodium we eat. Broken down, they are:


1.    Bread and rolls, 7.4%

2.    Cold cuts/cured meats, 5.1%

3.    Pizza, 4.9%

4.    Fresh and processed poultry, 4.5%

5.    Soups, 4.3%

6.    Sandwiches like cheeseburgers, 4%

7.    Cheese, 3.8%

8.    Pasta dishes like spaghetti with meat sauce, 3.3%

9.    Meat dishes like meatloaf with tomato sauce, 3.2%

10.Snacks, including chips, pretzels, popcorn and puffs, 3.1%

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