Recommended Sodium Intake

Q. What is the recommended sodium intake per serving?

A: Sodium intake will vary based on the type of food. As a rule of thumb, side dishes, snacks, and desserts should contain less than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving, and entrées should contain less than 800 milligrams of sodium per serving. On a daily basis, those with diabetes, should limit total sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams or less per day.

A high sodium diet can result in high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. To control your sodium intake and decrease the risk of developing high blood pressure, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods.

You should always read the nutrition labels for all canned and processed foods, and beware of foods that claim to be “low fat” or “low in carbs.” Many food manufacturers add sodium to improve the flavor of these foods.

Products that are advertised as “low sodium” must contain 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving. If the packaging says “no salt added,” this means that salt was not added during processing, yet the food may not be low in sodium, so always check the label.

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