NPR – A new study published Monday in the journal JAMA found that cutting one teaspoon of salt a day results in a decline in blood pressure comparable to taking blood pressure medication.
In this latest study, participants who cut out their daily salt intake by one teaspoon had lower blood pressure in just one week. This was even true for people already on blood pressure medication.
But how much sodium is in one teaspoon of salt?
A teaspoon of salt has about 2,300 mg of sodium in it. And according to the FDA, Americans eat an average of 3,400 mg of sodium. So cutting out a teaspoon would be equivalent to cutting two-thirds of a person’s daily sodium intake.
But the researchers say that cutting out any amount of sodium will help lower blood pressure — at least more than no reduction at all … READ MORE.
Sodium: How to tame your salt habit
Find out how much sodium you need and learn how getting too much might affect your health.
By Mayo Clinic Staff – Are you getting more sodium than health experts suggest is wise? If so, it could lead to serious health problems.
Sodium is a mineral. You can find it naturally in food, such as celery or milk. Manufacturers may also add sodium to processed food, such as bread. Sodium also is used to flavor food in condiments, such as soy sauce. When sodium is combined with another mineral called chloride, the two make table salt.
The daily limit set by nutrition experts in the U.S. is 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day for people ages 14 and older. The World Health Organization suggests a limit of 2,000 mg of sodium a day. Most of the sodium you eat is hidden in prepared foods. And for that reason, many people worldwide take in more sodium than their bodies need. This can put them at higher risk of a long-term illness such as high blood pressure, also called hypertension.
See where all that sodium comes from and learn how you can cut back.
What happens to sodium in the body?
The body needs some sodium to work well. Sodium plays a role in:
- The balance of fluids in the body.
- The way nerves and muscles work.
The kidneys balance the amount of sodium in the body. When sodium is low, the kidneys hold on to it. When sodium is high, the kidneys release some in urine.
If the kidneys can’t remove enough sodium, it builds up in the blood. Sodium attracts and holds water, so the blood volume rises.
The heart must work harder to pump blood, and that increases pressure in the arteries. Over time, this can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease … READ MORE.