How Much is Too Much Salt?

A recent study by the Institute of Medicine questioned the current guidellnes on salt intake saying they were too high.

The guidelines issued by the government say that adults should reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg. For those over age 51, or with a medical condition like diabetes or hypertension, salt intake should fall below 1500 mg.
The American Heart Association puts the limit at 1500 mg per day for the entire population.

Dr. Marc Seigel, associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, said on Fox News today that he doesn’t know anyone who consumes less than 3000 mg per day and they all consume too much salt. In addition, most people get the majority of their salt from processed and restaurant food.

USA Today said, “Elliott Antman, a spokesman for the American Heart Association and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says there were flaws in the studies that were reviewed by the IOM committee. Some of the research was conducted in sick patients and was not designed to study the impact of sodium intake on cardiovascular health, he says. The heart association reviewed many of the same studies and found that substantial methodological concerns limited their usefulness in setting public health recommendations, he says.”

If you are confused, don’t be. Unless you are on a healthy Mediterranean Diet, you probably eat too much salt in processed foods. Don’t read about this study and conclude that now you can eat all the salt and processed foods that you want. The average American consumes 3400 mg of salt a day. He or she would be best served by cutting back on salt consumption.


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Filed under American Heart Association, salt, sodium

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