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Monday, September 6, 2010

Salt with a Bad-Boy Reputation

Salt has long had a bad-boy reputation. Even people with normal blood pressure are aware of the link between sodium-a primary component of table salt- and hypertension(high blood pressure). About two out of three adults with type 2 diabetes also have hypertension, which raises the risk of diabetes complications such as heart disease, stroke, eye disorders, and kidney problems.

How much is TOO much?

In general, healthly adults under the age 50 should limit daily sodium intake to 2,000 milligrams, the equivalent of a teaspoon of salt. But the U.S Government and some health groups are discussing whether a lower limit would be better. In 2009, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported that 70% of adults would benefit from limiting their daily sodium intake to 1,500 milligram.

Some experts, however, don't believe it's necessary or practical for most people to restrict sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. And sodium isn't the only factor in hypertension. Although many people find their blood pressure going up with age, many people also gain weight as they get older, which contributes to hypertension.


1,500 mg sodium
(rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt);
Daily limit for people with hypertension,
African American, and adultts over age 50.

2,300 mg sodium
(1 teaspoon salt);
Daily limit for healthy
adults younger than 50.

4,000 mg sodium
(2/3 tablespoon salt);
Average amount adults eat daily.

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