Sodium (salt) is a necessary mineral for the human body to ingest. It effectively supplies electrolytes and maintains the fluid levels within our cells. It is also essential to the healthy transmission of nerve impulses within the body. Further, sodium plays a key role in the digestion of food.
The problem is that most of us simply eat too much. The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of sodium varies from one source to the next, but falls between the ranges of about 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams (mg) – about 3 to 5 grams of table salt. For example, Canada’s governmental health agencies recommend a maximum of 1,600 mg, while the United States government recommends a maximum of 2,300 mg.
Here is the breakdown of the U.S. governmental health agencies and their recommended intake:
-United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): 2300 mg.
-American Heart Association (AHA): 1500 mg.
-Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 1500 to 2300 mg.
The interesting statistic is the recommended amount from the American Heart Association (AHA). Why’s that? Because excessive sodium intake directly results in a greater chance of heart disease, heart attack and other heart-related problems. Here’s what WebMD has to say:
People with heart failure may improve their symptoms by reducing the amount of salt (sodium) in their diet. Eating too much salt causes the body to retain too much water, worsening the fluid build-up associated with heart failure.