The Recommended Daily Sodium Intake By Experts
There has been a lot of research on how salt affects our body. See the recommended daily sodium intake by experts and how to ensure that you are on track.
Sodium, or salt, is a cooking essential. It is in almost every single thing we eat and drink. Sometimes it is added during production and sometimes it is contained naturally in food and drink. So what is the recommended daily sodium intake? Experts have recommended a certain amount and established guidelines on how you can beat down on how much sodium you take in.
Sodium is indeed vilified a lot, associated as it always is with kidney and heart disease, stroke, and heart failure. But sodium isn't bad in and of itself. If anything, it is needed by the human body to keep fluid balance, and the nerves and muscles functional. So the trick is to find a healthy balance of sodium intake.
Recommended daily sodium intake
Sodium and salt tend to be interchanged, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they mean exactly the same thing. Salt, known by its chemical name sodium chloride, is a compound, while sodium is a mineral and it can be found in salt. Over the years there have always been calls by experts and authorities to limit the intake of sodium because of its ability to increase blood pressure, especially in people whose blood pressure is already on the high.
Therefore it is based on the risk of consuming too much of sodium that the Institute of Medicine, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the United States Department of Agriculture established baselines which your daily sodium intake should not go above. Sodium daily recommendation stands at 1,500 mg (1.5 grams) for healthy adults, which means that your daily intake should not go over that figure. But if it does go over that figure, it is crucial not to go over 2300 mg (one teaspoon) per day.
Note that these guidelines do not apply to people who exercise regularly or in hot environments. They may need to up their daily intake a bit. This is because they lose an unusual amount of sodium than the usual person who doesn't exercise.
How you can reduce your sodium intake
The following are ways you can control the amount of sodium you take in.
- Read the nutritional information
Most things you buy from the supermarkets have nutritional labels on them. There is a little space on the item where the ingredients the item is made of are written. If you don't find sodium on the label, look out for salt. Make sure salt is less than 2300 mg.
- Homemade food
Preparing your food at home more often will enable you to control the amount of sodium you take in. So maybe it's time to cut back on those canned foods from supermarket shelves.
- Buy fresh
When buying meat or poultry to prepare your food, buy the fresh instead of the processed ones. And some meat vendors at the markets in Nigeria sprinkle salt on their meat to preserve it. So you should look out for this. And if you're in the habit of using salt to wash your meat before cooking, please discontinue.
So when checking out sodium content from labels, you may need to do some conversions, since manufacturers sometimes interchange sodium and salt. If for example, there's 2g of sodium on a product and you want to convert to salt, just multiply by 2.5. Whatever the answer is, that's the salt contained in that product.