Lower Sodium, Lower Blood Pressure (Heart Health)

If you've had trouble with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a diet that's very low in sodium. The recommended daily intake is 2,400 mg, but a recent study showed that people who ate less than 1,500 mg of sodium each day improved their blood pressure significantly. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better. Here are some facts to keep in mind about sodium:

Most sodium is consumed in the form of sodium chloride which is table salt. Other forms of sodium are also found in food, so watch out for both salt and sodium.

If you're simply trying to lower your sodium intake, and you haven't started a very-low sodium diet, try to have less than 2,400 mg of sodium a day — that's the same as 6 grams of salt a day, or about 1 teaspoon.

Consider all the sodium and salt you eat — what's in the food you prepare, and what you add in cooking and at the table.
Remember that processed foods account for most of the sodium and salt in your diet.

Always check the food label. Some unexpected products may contain sodium, like antacids.

Kosher salt and sea salt are still salt. Don't forget to include them when you add up your sodium intake for the day