Sodium is an electrolyte mineral, commonly known as salt.
It helps maintain the balance of fluids and acids in the body.
Sodium in the diet is measured in milligrams (mg). There is
no recommended dietary allowance, called RDA, for sodium. But the National
Academy of Sciences states that a person should consume
at least 500 mg per day, and that healthy adults should stay within the range of
1,100 to 3,300 mg a day.
The American Heart Association recommends that for every
1,000 calories consumed, the sodium intake should be 1,000 mg and
should not exceed 3,000 mg per day. The average sodium intake in the
US is between 4,000 and 5,000 mg per day. One teaspoon of table salt
contains 2,300 mg of sodium.
Sodium helps cause high blood pressure in some people.
Anyone with this problem needs to reduce the amount of sodium
in his or her diet.