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New recommendations for salt intake for Americans

Here’s the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. It tells us, “Americans consume excessive amounts of sodium and insufficient amounts of potassium.”

Their latest recommendations follow.

But, first some history.

  • In 2005, the DGAC recommended a daily sodium intake of less than 2,300 mg for the general adult population.
  • People with high blood pressure, Blacks, and middle-aged and older adults were told to reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day.

America today.

  • Because these latter groups together now comprise nearly 70% of US adults, the goal has been adjusted to 1,500 mg per day for the general population.

The bottom line?

The health consequences of excessive sodium intake include increased blood pressure and related diseases (heart disease and stroke).

However, natural salt in food accounts for only about 10% of total intake, and the salt we add at the table or while cooking adds just another 5% to 10%.

About 75% of our total salt intake comes from salt added to processed foods by manufacturers and salt that cooks add to foods at restaurants and other food service establishments.

Eating out is the main source of excess salt. Accordingly, it will be challenging to achieve this lower level, and “the reduction from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg per day should occur gradually over time,” acknowledges DGAC.

More about the DGAC recommendations for salt intake and other dietary recommendations is here.

6/18/10 11:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.