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What are the guidelines for sodium?

Several professional organizations have issued evidence-based guidelines for reducing sodium intake. Most clinicians agree that people with high blood pressure should consume less than 2300 milligrams (2.3 grams) of sodium per day. People with other conditions may be advised to consume even less (1500 to 1800 mg per day).

The sodium content of packaged, processed, and prepared foods can usually be determined by reading food labels or consulting a reference book. Many web sites provide nutrient data (eg., and low-sodium cookbooks are also available.

It is important to remember that the amount of sodium listed is for a particular serving size; eating more or less than the listed serving size changes the amount of sodium consumed. In addition, many people add more salt to foods; just one teaspoon of table salt contains about 2300 milligrams of sodium, which is more than many people need for the entire day. Most fresh foods, and now some frozen foods, have a low sodium content and can be substituted for foods that are high in sodium. Reading labels, when provided, can be extremely helpful.