The short answer to this question is, probably less than you eat now! Unfortunately it is all too easy to overconsume sodium (salt) these days because there are such high levels in many packaged foods, take-away and restaurant meals. Even if you don't add salt to food yourself, it is already lots in the prepared foods you buy. There's some great information available from www.awash.org.au
The optimal amount of sodium to eat each day to reduce your risk of chronic disease is 1600mg (this is the Suggested Dietary Target, or SDT), however there is another more commonly used level called the Upper Limit (UL) and this is 2300mg. Sodium content is listed in food labels in the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP), and the Upper Limit is used for calculating Percentage Daily Intake (%DI) you see on many food labels. Frighteningly, some fast food meals contain the entire SDT in one meal!
Contrary to popular belief, we don't actually need to eat salt at all because there is more than enough sodium for our needs naturally present in fresh foods, however we do like the taste and have become used to food being salty. Its a good idea to cut down slowly so your palate has time to adjust. Check labels on packaged foods and choose reduced salt options. And remember a diet with 5 serves of vegetables, 2 serves of fruit and 2-3 serves of low-fat dairy foods like milk and yoghurt along with less sodium are ideal for lowering blood pressure. See more about the DASH diet for lowering blood pressure here.
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