Sodium — The Amount Counts

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on March 20, 2013 · 0 comments

A large review study in the American Journal of Hypertension concluded that a universal recommendation to lower sodium intakes may not be the best public health approach. The review article provided evidence that sodium intakes below 2,500 milligrams and above 6,000 milligrams both increased the risk for heart disease. Sodium intakes within this range did not appear to increase blood pressure or increase the risk for heart disease.

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 2,500 milligrams sodium for adults and less than 1,500 milligrams for those over 50 and for those already in a risk group for heart disease. Based on this review article the current guidelines might be too strict for most Americans.

The recommended reduction in sodium only reduces blood pressure slightly and may instead alter blood fats in a way that increases heart disease risk. As with all things related to health, moderation is the best approach. Don’t eat excessive amounts of sodium but on the other hand don’t reduce it too much either.

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