How Much Sodium (Salt) Per Day Should You Be Eating?

How much sodium per day should you be eating? Are you wondering how much of sodium is safe for you? Sodium is the scientific term for salt and it is the word you will see on all food nutrition labels. Although many American’s don’t realize it, they eat way too much salt. Although our body needs salt to function properly, too much salt can adversely effect out health.

In this article I am going to talk about why salt is important, as well as why too much of it is bad. I will also give some recommendations on the amount of salt you should be eating on a daily basis.

Why We Need Salt


Salt is vital in some of the bodily functions we need to live. Without any salt you would not be able to live. Here are the 3 main functions salt is responsible for:

  1. Salt plays an important role in transmitting nerve impulses
  2. Salt is used in maintaining a correct balance of fluids in the human body
  3. Important in relaxing and contracting muscle
However in excessive amounts sodium can play havoc on the human body and it can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and other problems.

Why Is Too Much Salt Bad

A good balance of salt is vital for a functioning and healthy human body, however too little or too much salt can cause problems. Generally speaking, most American’s do not have to worry about excess salt, because the average American diet contains too much salt anyway. What we should be worried about is consuming too much salt which could lead to serious health problems in the future.

To understand how the balance of salt can effect your health, let us have a closer look at the human body.

Our kidneys help balance salt levels in our body. If we don’t have enough sodium, then our kidneys will work to hold on to it. If we have too much sodium then our kidney will flush out the excess levels though our urine. However, under extreme circumstances your kidneys are not able to flush out enough salt, then salt will start to go into your blood.

This in turn increases the volume of blood in your body, because salt holds on to water. Because your blood volume has increased, your heart has to work at an increasingly frantic level, because it needs to push more blood through your blood vessels. This in turn creates more pressure on your arteries.

These problems can lead to life threatening diseases and heart problems. Therefore you should never underestimate the physical impact of too much salt in the body.

How Much Sodium per day Should I be Eating To Stay Healthy?

If you are looking for a precise amount of sodium you should be eating per day then I suggest you consult a medical professional. People react differently to different amounts of salt and maybe you need more or less salt than others. If you are just after an estimate then here is what the Dietary Reference Intake recommends:

  • Recommended Daily Allowance: 1500 mg
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level: 2400 mg