Sodium intake: How much should you consume per day?

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For representational use [Image: IndiaTV]
For representational use [Image: IndiaTV]

New Delhi : Human body needs sodium because it keeps the muscles and nerves running normally. Yet, 90% of adults in India eat too much sodium, which can raise the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and other dangerous conditions. 

If you want to control your sodium intake, there are various ways you can do so naturally. Here are some tips on how to lower your sodium intake.

Firstly the question is how much sodium one should consume? According to The American Heart Association, an adult should take no more than 2,300 milligrams per day, which is roughly the amount of sodium in 1 teaspoon of salt.

Here are some tips for how to lower your sodium intake:


Write down your foods, amounts, and sodium levels to get an idea of your daily consumption.

If you don't have access to the nutrition facts of your meal, you can avoid excess sodium by following the acronym SCIP, which stands for. Foods prepared using processes like smoked, cured, instant, and processed tend to have much more sodium.

Low in sodium

There are plenty of low-sodium and sodium-free options out there, like low-sodium soy sauce and unsalted nuts. But labels can be slightly confusing since there are so many options including low-sodium, reduced sodium, and very-low sodium. And each label refers to a different amount of sodium.

If you aren't sure whether a food is high in sodium, read nutrition facts labels and note the milligrams of sodium per serving and the percent daily value.

Limit processed foods 

There's more sodium in processed or pre-prepared foods than you may think. 

Processed foods make up the bulk of sodium we consuming. Deli meats, frozen dinners, and some restaurant-prepared foods can carry a lot of hidden sodium. A healthy alternative that can help you lower your sodium intake is to prepare your meals yourself with fresh, unsalted, or low-sodium ingredients. This gives you the most control over how much sodium is in your food. 

Limiting your sodium intake is important, as this can help lower your risk for serious medical conditions, including:

High blood pressure

Heart disease 

Kidney disease


Stomach cancer