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Quick Facts

S O D I U M


What is sodium?

Sodium is a mineral that the body uses to regulate blood pressure. Sodium also helps muscles and nerves work properly. Salt (sodium chloride) is the most common source of added sodium in food, but baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), MSG (monosodium glutamate) and many other seasonings and preservatives also contain sodium.


How much should I eat every day?

The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences recommends an approximate daily range of 1,100 to 3,300 milligrams of sodium for adults. The American Heart Association recommends that for every 1,000 calories of food consumed, the sodium intake should be 1,000 milligrams and should not exceed the 3,000 milligram limit. The average intake in the United States is between 4,000 and 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day.


What foods are high in sodium?

Sodium occurs naturally in celery, milk, beets and drinking water, and is added to many other foods -- as a preservative in processed meats like ham and sausage -- and as a flavor enhancement in most canned soups. Fast food also generally contains a lot of sodium.


What happens if I eat too much?

In healthy people, excess sodium is eliminated through the kidneys. However, in individuals who are sensitive to salt, high sodium intake has been linked to high blood pressure.



Some foods high in sodium

LUNCH MEAT:
ITEM SERV. CALOR. FAT SAT. FAT SOD.
BEEF PASTRAMI 100g
349
29g
10.5g
1227mg
BEEF SAUSAGE, COOKED, SMOKED 100g
312
27g
11.5g
1131mg
PORK SAUSAGE, SMOKED 1 link (68g)
264.5
21.5g
7.5g
1020mg
CORNED BEEF, BRISKET, COOKED 85g
213.5
16g
5.5g
964mg
CHORIZO, BEEF & PORK 1 link (60g)
273
23g
8.5g
741mg
FRANKFURTER, BEEF & PORK 1 (45g)
144
13g
5g
504mg
SNACK FOODS:
ITEM SERV. CALOR. FAT SAT. FAT SOD.
PORK SKINS, BARBECUE 1oz.
152.5
9g
3.5g
756mg
DOO DADS 1 cup
258.5
10.5g
2g
720.5mg
BEEF JERKY 1oz.
116
7.5g
3g
627.5mg
PORK SKINS 1oz.
154.5
9g
3g
521mg
PRETZELS, HARD, SALTED 1oz.
108
1g
0
486mg
DRY CEREALS:
ITEM SERV. CALOR. FAT SAT. FAT SOD.
GRAPE-NUTS 1 cup
389
0.5g
11g
757.5mg
BRAN BUDS 1 cup
248.5
2g
36g
599.5mg
ALL-BRAN 1 cup
162.5
2g
19.5g
551mg
RAISIN BRAN (R-P) 1 cup
178
4.5g
7.5g
486mg
100% BRAN 1 cup
177.5
3.5g
19.5g
457.5mg
CHEESE:
ITEM SERV. CALOR. FAT SAT. FAT SOD.
COTTAGE, 1% 1 cup
163.5
2.5g
1.5g
917.5mg
PARMESAN, GRATED 1 oz.
129
8.5g
5.5g
528mg
ROQUEFORT 1 oz.
104.5
8.5g
5.5g
513mg
AMERICAN, PASTEURIZED 1 oz.
106.5
9g
5.5g
405.5mg
Source: USDA - Nutrient Data Lab (Sept. 1996) - all data rounded to nearest 0.5

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