Daily Adequate Intakes
1 to 3 years: 1.0 g per day
4 to 8 years: 1.2 g per day
9 to 50 years: 1.5 g per day
51 to 70 years: 1.3 g per day
71+ years: 1.2 g per day
The most common form of sodium is table salt, but at least a little bit of sodium occurs naturally in many foods. Significant sources include dairy products, beets, and celery. Processed foods usually contain a lot of sodium in the form of preservatives and flavor enhancers.
Most diets contain more than enough sodium, so deficiency is rare. Getting too much sodium in your diet is associated with higher blood pressure and can increase calcium loss from your bones. The Institute of Medicine suggests getting no more than 1,500 milligrams to 2,400 milligrams per day. Unfortunately, the typical daily Western diet contains around 5,000 milligrams.
More About Sodium
- Why Is There So Much Sodium in Processed Foods?
- How Do I Avoid Sodium?
- What Happens If I Don't Get Enough Sodium?
- Is Sea Salt Better Than Regular Salt?
- Shake the Salt Habit
- Sodium Quiz
Nutrition Fact Sheet: Sodium. Northwestern University. Accessed July 20, 2009. http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/nutrition/factsheets/sodium.html.
Otten JJ, Hellwig JP, Meyers LD. "Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements." IOM, 2006.
Sodium in diet. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Accesssed July 20, 2009. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002415.htm.