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How too Much Sodium Affects Your Health

Last Modified July 27, 2023
Audience My Patients |
Topics Partner with Patients |
Resource Type PDF
Languages english

Excess Levels of Sodium: How too much sodium affects your health

9 out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium.

Where does sodium come from?

More than 70% comes from processed and restaurant foods

About 11% is added while cooking or eating

More than 14% occurs naturally

3,400 milligrams

Amount of sodium an American consumes on average in a day

1,500 milligrams

Recommended by the AHA for ideal heart health

Shake Out Salt

Keep your sodium intake in check as part of an overall heart-healthy eating pattern that emphasizes:

  • Variety of fruits and vegetables 
  • Whole-grain foods 
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products 
  • Skinless poultry and fish 
  • Nuts and legumes 
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils 
  • Limiting saturated fat, , sodium, red meat, sweets and sugary drinks 
  • Avoid trans fat 

Your Health

Excess levels of sodium/salt may put you at risk for:

  • Enlarged heart muscle
  • Headaches 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Stroke 
  • Heart failure 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Kidney stones 
  • Stomach cancer 

Excess levels of sodium/salt may cause increased water retention that leads to:

  • Puffiness
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain


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