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New RDA for Sodium

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Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt. As most of us are already aware, too much sodium is bad for your health. It can increase your blood pressure as well as your your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third killers of men and women in the United States each year.

Current dietary guidelines recommend that adults in general should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. However, if you are in the following population groups, you should consume no more than 1,500 mg per day.

  • You are 40 years of age or older.
  • You are African American.
  • You have high blood pressure.

A new CDC report shows that two out of three (69%) adults in the United States fall into these three groups and are at especially high risk for health problems from too much sodium. In addition to safeguarding against heart diease and stroke, eating less sodium can help prevent, lower, or even control blood pressure.

Most of the sodium we eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought and restaurants foods. Only about 5% comes from salt added during cooking and about 6% comes from being added at the table. Be conscientious about checking the labels on food products and adding up the milligrams of sodium. If at a restaurant, ask for the nutritional information facts that include sodium.

Chart: Most sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods. The pie chart shows Processed and Restaurant Foods portion at 77%; Naturally Occurring, 12%; While eating, 6%; and Home Cooking, 5%. Source for image: Mattes, RD, Donnelly, D. Relative contributions of dietary sodium sources. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1991 Aug;10(4):383-393.
Source: Mattes, RD, Donnelly, D. Relative contributions of dietary sodium sources. Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Last modified on Saturday, 16 October 2010 14:46


Cindy is a Certified Raw Food Educator through the "Living Light Culinary Arts Institute," with an emphasis on the science of whole, raw food.  Cindy has over 25 years experience as an educator, including 15 years as a high school teacher and 12 years as the director of instruction for a high school district.   Using a combination of her own health challenges and experiences, plus the knowledge she has obtained through her coursework, her goal is to help others understand the power of food.  Her experience as an educator enables her to provide peer-reviewed, scientific information in a fascinating, understandable, and user-friendly format!  Her goal is to educate through the science of nutrition, and to illustrate how easy it is to incorporate the simple most powerful foods on earth that promote optimal health!


I have a testimony about the smoothies and I'll try to make it short.  I started walking in Lakeside this past Monday.  I'm not an exerciser at all so this is as new to my body as all the good smoothies I've been drinking!  There's a pretty big hill where we live and I like to challenge myself to walk down and then back up the hill.  Today was my fourth day walking about three miles.  I've done pretty good each day except for today.  When I got home I was in so much pain I could barely stand up, I was hurting all over.  So much that I took ibuprofin and lay on the bed in tears.  I was laying there for a while wondering why today was so much different than the other three days where I'd had some muscle aches but nothing too unbearable.  Then it hit me.  The ONLY thing I did differently today was I DID NOT have my smoothie.  I usually make a good amount and drink 1/2 during the day before my walk and then I drink the other 1/2 after my walk.  The more I thought about it, I felt like if I would just get off of the bed and make the smoothie I would feel better.  I don't think I'm crazy or that it's all in my head.  Of course the pain reliever helped but I honestly feel like my body was craving the "good stuff"!

Thanks for letting me share this with you.  My family and friends all think I'm crazy for drinking my smoothies and even my husband is complaining because I'd rather drink the smoothie than eat the SO-bad-for-you sloppy joes and macaroni & cheese that I made him for dinner.

Thanks for taking the time to tell people the TRUTH about food, SAD and the science behind WHY we need to change our diets.  If you ever wonder if what you're doing is making a difference, it is.  :)


Rebecca B.
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