Salt is perhaps the most integral component of most meals and is required to increase the palatability and flavor quality of the foods; however, it is to be noted that excessive or poorly regulated intake of salt can lead to serious health issues. It is usually believed that the western population consume excessive quantities of salt and if you are a causal eater, your salt intake is probably very high too. It is hiwqeqwegh time you start thinking about the consequences of excessive salt intake on your health.
Mostly people do not have any idea of how much sodium they usually consume each day. It is important because a number of foods that we consume every day are studded with sodium such as processed or canned food contain alarmingly high quantities of sodium that may aggravate the risk of several health issues such as hypertension, vascular damage and renal dysfunction.
How Much Sodium Is There in a Teaspoon of Salt?
The portions of daily sodium intake is increasing in the general population at an alarming rate, which is strongly associated with the epidemic of chronic health issues. Table salt contains approximately 40% sodium.The quantity of sodium in the salt we use in cooking in multiple measures is listed below:
Amount of sodium in 1/4 teaspoon of salt is 575 mg
Amount of sodium in ½ teaspoon of salt is 1,150 mg
Amount of sodium in 3/4 teaspoon of salt is 1,725 mg
Amount of sodium in 1 teaspoon of salt is 2,300 mg
Most of the people consume far more sodium on daily basis than it is required for the maintenance of normal biological activities. The normal intake of salt per day should be under 6 grams (which is equivalent to 2.4 grams of sodium). Although, most commercially available sources of food have labels to ascertain the amount of sodium; but you can also monitor your intake via this simple formula.
Amount of Salt Consumed = Sodium x 2.5
Quantity of Salt (grams)
Quantity of Sodium (mg)
Daily measurement in Nutrition cut-offs
Lower limit of RDI
It can be aimed as your maximum daily intake
Maximum limit of RDI
Higher Limit for average intake
How Much Sodium Should You Eat Most?
The recommended daily sodium intake must not exceed 2300-2400 mg per day as per the Nutritional Guidelines for Americans. Healthcare providers also believe that daily intake of sodium must not exceed 1500 mg per day if you have certain risk factors such as heart or chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure or if you are over 50 years of age. Consult your dietitian or a doctor to learn more about the recommended dose of sodium.
The average quantity of salt intake for babies or children is relatively smaller than the optimal dose for adults or aging population. As most babies under 1 year of age are breastfed (which is a natural source of sodium), make sure not to exceed oral salt intake by more than 1 gram per day. The average intake of salt for children over the age of one year can be discussed as:
1-3 years child = 2 grams per day (0.8g sodium)
4-6 years old = 3 grams per day (1.2g sodium)
7-10 years old = 5 grams per day (2g sodium)
11 or more = 6 grams per day (2.4g sodium)
Harms in Too Much Sodium
As we stated earlier, unregulated intake of sodium can harm your body in multiple ways; for example, high sodium intake can damage your kidneys and liver and may aggravate the risk of sudden death or permanent organ damage. Besides, high salt is also a key etiologic factor that leads to circulatory disturbances such as hypertension and congestive heart failure. When a person consumes excess amounts of sodium, the sodium starts building up in the blood which can affect circulatory pressure, plasma volume and bone mineral density.
How to Limit Sodium Intake
Avoid Processed Food
Fresh food is always better than packaged and canned foods. Not only it contain less sodium than canned foods but it also much higher in the nutritional value.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Increasing the amount of vegetables and fruits in your diet has a favorable outcome. Natural and fresh fruits and veggie are low in sodium content and hence deliver high levels of energy.
Eat Low-Sodium Foods
Changing your taste buds isn’t an easy task, especially when you are fond of processed foods but you can compare various brands of similar item to get the same taste but lesser sodium.
Read Food Labels
Develop a habit of reading the product labels to learn the percentage and amount of sodium. Avoid foods with very high sodium levels to maintain optimal health and wellness.
Go for Unsalted Foods
Try out low salt broths and soups, and unsalted nuts; you can also use beans, lentils and peas. In addition, it is completely in your hands to decrease the daily salt intake slowly and gradually while preparing meals at home. For better taste or flavor quality, try salt alternatives such as delicious herbs and spices with minimal quantities of sodium to cover up for the absence of salt in your food.
Pay Attention to Foods that don’t Taste Salty
Beware of the food items which do not taste salty but still contain excess amounts of salt, such as cottage cheese. If in any case you are using canned items, you must rinse it thoroughly before adding it into your food to get rid of some of the salt in it.