Recommended Sodium Intake Per Day: Effects Of Low And High Sodium

We all eat sodium, some people consume in large amount while some people eat salt in lesser quantity. Too much of sodium or too less are equally not good for a healthy individual. So what is the ideal sodium intake per day in human beings is the next question.

Consumption of less than a teaspoon of salt is considered to be ideal, with a maximum upper recommended limit being 2300 mg per day. Though some amount of mineral sodium is important to regulate body water content, energy utilization and nerve function, an excess of sodium intake in regular diet can become a health risk.

Daily Recommended Sodium Intake

The sodium that we eat is consumed in the form of sodium chloride. It is usually known as ‘table salt’. Most raw and natural food contain very less amount of sodium, processed food contain large amount of sodium, while some amount of salt is required in cooking. Generally typical intake of sodium is higher than the physiological requirement. The ideal sodium requirement per day for the age group is given below:

  • 1000 – 1200 mg for children and adolescents.
  • 1500 mg for adults till the age of 50.
  • 1300 mg for people between 51 to70.
  • 1200 for people above 71.

The maximum recommended level of sodium is 2300 mg per day, but most of the time it exceeds the recommended physiological requirement.

Effects Of High And Low Sodium Intake

Intake of high amount of salt in regular diet exceeding the normal required limit may result into several health consequences. High blood pressure and heart disease are common among those whose intake of sodium is high. High blood pressure can precipitate many other ailments such as brain stroke, kidney failure etc. Besides, women who are consuming excess amount of sodium may be at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis even if their calcium intake is adequate.

Deficiency of sodium is also equally harmful for the body. Generally deficiency occurs when there is excess loss of sodium from the body. A person suffering from diarrhea and vomiting are at greater risk of hyponatremia. Poor intake of food for a long duration may also precipitate sodium imbalance in the body. Confusion, muscle cramps, headache, unconsciousness etc are seen with low sodium in the body. But it can be corrected in most cases.

To prevent an imbalance, it is necessary to maintain an optimum level of sodium in our body.

Sodium Intake Per Day For Men

Generally sodium intake per day for men and women remain the same. However, certain variations are to be considered with the age and history of pre-existing disease. Accordingly general recommendation for men below 50 years is between 1500 mg to upper limit of 2300 mg.

However, the recommended daily requirement is less above the age of 50. It is 1300mg. people who are suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease should also maintain low sodium intake than normal.

How To Reduce Daily Sodium Intake?

Here are some tips to reduce sodium intake:

  • Avoid adding extra salt from salt shaker.
  • Adopt and cultivate to enjoy the taste of natural food.
  • Instead of salt, season your food preparation with spices and herbs.
  • Check the label for salt or sodium on the label. Salt is often used as a preservative in many foods.
  • Eat breakfast cereals that are low in salt.
  • Choose foods and plan your meal that contains low amount of sodium.
  • Avoid eating processed meat as it is loaded with sodium.