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Americans love salt. Fast food and ready meals are full of it. While these foods are cheap and delicious, salt is not your friend when you have chronic kidney disease. Why? Because salt is mostly sodium, your kidneys may have trouble maintaining sodium and water balance. This can mean thirst, gaining fluid weight and high blood pressure (HBP).
Low Sodium Diet Daily Allowance
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The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day. The recommended daily amount for people on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease ranges from 750 to 2000 mg per day.
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There are many alternatives to salt, including spices and flavorings. However, “classic” salt substitutes simply replace sodium with another mineral, potassium. Unfortunately, this is also a problem when you have chronic kidney disease. If a dietitian or doctor has recommended a low potassium diet, it is important to avoid salt substitutes made with potassium.
Learn the language Low sodium No sodium – just the tiniest amount of sodium per serving Very low sodium – 35 mg or less per serving Low sodium – 140 mg or less per serving Low sodium – Foods that reduce sodium levels 25% light or ” Light” in sodium – foods with sodium reduced by at least 50% remember that they are “reduced” sodium as well as “light” or “light in sodium” compared to their high sodium counterparts. For example, “light” soy sauce is better than “regular” soy sauce, but “light” soy sauce is still high in sodium. Always check the label to see how many milligrams of sodium are in it. Americans consume more than the recommended amount of sodium. The following are average daily intakes by age, relative to recommended limits.
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To gradually reduce sodium throughout the food supply, it takes an iterative approach that includes establishing voluntary sodium targets for industry, monitoring and evaluating progress, and engaging with stakeholders.
Americans consume too much sodium in their diets, and most of it comes from processed, packaged and convenience foods, not salt shakers. That’s why we developed the latest guidance with sodium reduction targets to encourage industry to gradually reduce sodium in a wide range of foods over the next 2.5 years.
Sodium is added to almost all processed, packaged and prepared foods. Some foods are known to be high in sodium, but it’s also important to be mindful of how often you eat them. Other foods may contain less sodium, but are often consumed in larger and/or larger amounts. Commonly consumed foods such as sandwiches, pizza, burritos and tacos, soups, savory snacks, pasta dishes, hamburgers and eggs contribute significantly to sodium intake. Some high-sodium foods, such as dried fish, do not contribute much to the overall sodium intake because they are not usually consumed in large or large amounts.
Sodium is added to processed, packaged and ready-to-eat foods for a variety of reasons. For example, it is used to control microbial growth that can spoil food and cause foodborne illness. Sodium is also used to improve flavor and texture and for cooking and curing meat. While sodium is essential for many reasons, today’s food contains too much sodium.
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Too much sodium increases blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Americans now consume an average of about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, while federal guidelines recommend less than 2,300 milligrams per day for people 14 and older. Recommended limits for children 13 and under are even lower. Reducing sodium in foods could prevent hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and illnesses over the course of a decade.
Strong scientific evidence supports reducing sodium intake from current levels. Excessive sodium intake increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 recommends limiting sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day for people 14 years and older. And even less for those 13 and under.
More than 100,000,000 American adults have high blood pressure, and blood pressure generally increases with age. The tendency to increase blood pressure with age is mostly seen in Western countries where sodium consumption is high. Children and teenagers are also likely to increase blood pressure by consuming more sodium. Studies show that preference for sodium is influenced by consumption habits early in life and can persist into adulthood, although the palate can also adjust to lower sodium in foods.
Consumers can and should check labels when they are available, but some types of food do not require a nutrition facts label. It is an example of deli meat that you buy at the counter. Even with labeling, consumers still struggle to eat the recommended amount of sodium because sodium levels are so high in today’s overall food supply. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed, packaged, and ready-to-eat foods, not from table salt added to food while cooking or eating.
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Americans eat about a third of their food calories and spend about half of their food dollars outside of the home, so it’s important that restaurants, along with the rest of the food industry, be part of the solution. Incorporating restaurant foods is essential to achieving sodium reduction goals and for people to adapt their taste buds at home and away.
The sodium in your diet comes from a variety of foods, especially mixed foods that have many ingredients and sauces. Our approach is to encourage reductions in a variety of products – not just products that are particularly high in sodium. As such, we do not recommend drastic reductions that significantly affect the flavor of the food. We have carefully studied the range of popular foods on the market today to see what cuts are possible based on what some companies are doing right now and what’s selling well in the market.
We also know that people usually do not notice a small (about 10%) reduction in sodium. And over time, people’s taste buds get used to the changes, especially if they are made gradually. In addition, there are other ways companies can reformulate or modify certain foods while still making them attractive to consumers. For example, instead of sodium, add herbs and spices, salt mixes or other flavorings.
Yes, some food companies are already making progress and we applaud their leadership. But even with these efforts, the amount of sodium in food is still high. Part of the problem is focusing on making a few foods very low in sodium, rather than most foods being a little lower in sodium. We want to give the industry common goals across the food spectrum.
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We encourage companies to meet short-term goals in two and a half years (note that some foods already meet short-term goals). We expect that if the food industry meets the initial goals more broadly, it will reduce the average sodium intake to about 3,000 mg/day.
Yes. 96 countries are working to reduce sodium intake, and 48 countries have set sodium target levels for one or more processed foods. The World Health Organization rates sodium reduction as a “best buy” to improve public health. Comparing countries in terms of progress is difficult because sodium intake varies around the world and different approaches may be needed based on the foods commonly eaten. But many countries, such as Britain and Canada, have made progress in reducing sodium with approaches similar to those used here.
An important part of a sodium reduction program is to regularly review progress toward your goals to understand the changes that are occurring. We will work with other government agencies, such as the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in these regulatory efforts. It also plans to actively engage with food manufacturers to learn about their sodium reduction efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans get 71 percent of their daily sodium from processed and restaurant foods, and only a small amount of the sodium we consume each day comes from our salt shakers. (1) I am not here to demonize salt or sodium in general. In fact, sodium is essential for our body to function properly and is one of the nutrients we need to avoid electrolyte imbalances. The problem is that many people consume too much sodium on a daily basis and fill up on unhealthy sodium-rich foods, which is why a low-sodium diet may be the way to go.
Sodium can be found naturally in some healthy foods, but processed foods and foods people eat when they go out (especially
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