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The sodium, potassium, and water contents of red blood cells of healthy human adults.

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  • Research Article
  • Medicine


[PDF] Sodium and Potassium Nearly all Americans eat too much salt (sodium). Most of the salt comes from eating processed foods (75%), or adding salt to food while cooking and using the salt shaker at meals (5% to 10%). On average, the more salt a person eats, the higher his or her blood pressure. Eating less salt is an important way to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which may in turn reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney damage. To reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, eat less processed food and use less salt while cooking and at the table. Other lifestyle changes may prevent or delay getting high blood pressure and may help lower elevated blood pressure. These include eating more potassium-rich foods, losing excess weight, being more physically active, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcoholic beverages, if you choose to drink them. Did you know that sodium and potassium both impact blood pressure? A diet rich in potassium helps to counterbalance some of sodium’s harmful effects on blood pressure. Foods that are good sources of potassium are listed in the Food Sources of Potassium table on the next page. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: You should get no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. Some people should get less. Here are some tips for eating less salt: • When you’re choosing packaged foods, check the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts label. Use the percent Daily Value (% DV) to help limit your sodium intake—5% DV or less is low and 20% DV or more is high. You don’t want to exceed a total of 100% DV for sodium from all foods in a day. For some people (refer to specific populations section), you don’t want to exceed about 65% DV. • Compare sodium content for similar foods. This can really make a difference. The table on the next page shows you examples of how you can reduce the amount of sodium you eat by choosing another brand of the same food. Use the Nut

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