Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Sodium

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2010 Dietary Guidelines - What do they say and mean?

The official copy of the 2010 Dietary guidelines is not out yet - but there is a draft available for comment.

We have taken the liberty to read what is there for right now and here is what we found for sodium:

  • Sodium consumption is going to have to go lower for optimum health. Why? There have been more studies since 2005 which show that most individuals in the US need to be at 1500 mg of sodium or less and that lowering intake to this amount will make a greater impact on health for all Americans. This is quite a drop for most people who consume well over twice that amount. 1500 mg of sodium comes from a mere 2/3 teaspoon of salt her day. Most of this is found in processed foods and meals eaten in foodservice establishments. The major sources of sodium intake from food in the US population are
  • yeast breads;
  • chicken and chicken mixed dishes;
  • pizza;
  • pasta and pasta dishes;
  • cold cuts;
  • condiments;
  • Mexican mixed dishes;
  • sausage,
  • franks,
  • bacon, and
  • ribs;
  • regular cheese;
  • grain-based desserts;
  • soups; and beef and beef mixed dishes

(Source: NCI, 2010). Collectively, this group of foods contributes about 56 percent of the dietary sodium, or nearly 2000 mg per person per day.

The Dietary Guidelines will also emphasize the need for more potassium-rich foods in addition to lowering sodium in the diet for better blood pressure control.

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