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Too much sodium increases your blood pressure, also known as hypertension, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, disability and death.

How Much Sodium Do You Actually Need?

The recommended amount of sodium your body requires depends a great deal on your current health:

2,300 milligrams (mg): The maximum level of sodium for Americans aged 2 years and older who do not fall into any of the below categories.

1,500 mg: The maximum level of sodium for people who are aged 51 years or older, African American, or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease.

Easy Ways To Reduce Your Daily Sodium Intake

  • Check nutrition labels while grocery shopping
  • Limit your consumption of processed foods
  • Purchase low-salt products
  • At restaurants, ask the server for nutritional information and/or ask that no salt be added to your meal
  • When preparing meals at home, limit the amount of salt you add
  • Eat potassium-rich foods (including bananas, potatoes, beans and dairy products), which can help reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure

World Salt Awareness Week 2014: Shake Less & Read More  was originally published on

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