When is too much salt...too much

I noticed that my "recommended" daily allowances have what I consider a large amount of salt everyday (2,300) Im not a "salt" person. And it is one area I am never over nor even close to get the so called recommended amounts. Is it a bad thing? But I am always over on fats and of course sugar.
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Replies

  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,689 Member
    Most people find that it is hard to hit this target even without adding any salt since many foods, especially prepared, have a lot of sodium built in.

    I caution that the database has many erroneous entries, and that if you're really concerned about some of the macros and micros you really need to double-check that all the entries you use are accurate.

    Sodium is recommended maximum intake because many people exceed these levels.

    As far as I'm aware there's no official minimum sodium level. However I will note that extremely low sodium levels do result in people needing to visit the emergency room and adding back some of it into their diet.

    General sodium recommendations I have seen for cardiac patients who have been advised to control their sodium intake include variously things such as no more than 2300, or even 2,000 mg, lower is better, and aim for 1500mg

    Based on the above, as a non cardiac patient, with no known sensitivity to sodium, no high blood pressure and also no significant level of exercise and general sweating or living in a climate that promotes sweating and loss of sodium, well, I would think I would survive in the 1500+ mark.

    If I was consistently lower than that and symptom-free I might bring it up with my doctor.

    If I was consistently lower than that and occasionally fainting I might bring it up with my doctor much sooner!!!!

    :)
  • LyndaBSS
    LyndaBSS Posts: 6,971 Member
    edited November 2019
    Nope, you don’t have to meet that, or any of the macros or nutrients.

    The amount of salt most adults should stay below, barring no medical conditions, is 1500 mg/day. The American Heart Association is making moves to switch the current limit from 2300 to 1500.
  • unstableunicorn
    unstableunicorn Posts: 216 Member
    LyndaBSS wrote: »
    Nope, you don’t have to meet that, or any of the macros or nutrients.

    The amount of salt most adults should stay below, barring no medical conditions, is 1500 mg/day. The American Heart Association is making moves to switch the current limit from 2300 to 1500.

    Really surprised at the cut. After my seizure in August the first thing my doctor asked if I was getting enough sodium with the dietary changes and she seemed iffy about me reducing to 2,300. Thank you for sharing this! I will have to look further into it.
  • JewelLiz
    JewelLiz Posts: 15 Member
    Thanks everyone! Good advice from everyone! <3
  • missysippy930
    missysippy930 Posts: 2,547 Member
    edited November 2019
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I've got 20 years under my belt of doctor guidance on sodium due to borderline high BP and a family history of heart disease. Here's the scoop as it's been told to me over the decades by one doctor after another, including a cardiologist in the middle there somewhere.

    The human body only needs 500 mg of sodium per day. You shouldn't eat less than that. But that isn't really an issue, because it's virtually impossible to eat less than 500 mg. That's approximately the sodium content of one average sized bagel with nothing on it.

    Nobody "should" be eating more than 2,300 mg / day. MFP's default reflects the conventional wisdom in medicine on that one.

    As everyone who logs food on MFP has discovered, it's very easy to exceed 2,300, especially if that includes processed or restaurant food. I just went to PF Changs the other day and was looking over their nutrition stuff. A bowl of hot and sour soup has 3,800 mg. Mongolian Beef has 2,300. For that matter, the soy sauce that people use as a condiment at places like Changs has 700 mg PER TEASPOON, and hot sauces are generally 200-500 mg per teaspoon. An innocent looking turkey and swiss sandwich I made out of Boar's Head cold cuts, one of them being "reduced sodium turkey", added up to 1100 mg. So, that 2300 number is not a walk in the park. This is why Americans average 3,300 mg per day, which is way, way over the recommended amount for good health.

    The American Heart Association says 1,500 should be the limit for most people, certainly for anyone over 40 or with any history (theirs or their family's) of heart disease, stroke, etc. 1,500 can be extremely hard to achieve unless one is (a) cooking one's own food, and (b) really paying attention to the sodium.

    I aim for 1500-2000 and usually manage to be in that range, but can't pull it off when eating at a restaurant. I try to make > 2000 days very rare.

    Sodium is one of those things that's easy to ignore, especially for people trying to drill down on calories and not wanting to get overwhelmed with chasing different rabbits down different holes. So it's understandable that a lot of people don't pay much attention to sodium, but the problems it causes over time aren't problems at all until suddenly they are gigantic problems and then your life is different forever. It's hugely better to adopt a low-sodium mindset and behaviors early in the game of life and stick to it.

    Disagree on the "nobody should be eating more than 2,300 mg/day. In the past I have trained for and participated in numerous multi hour endurance events. You sweat buckets, particularly in the summer when it's 100F+ out there and even hotter on the black top. You lose a ton of salt doing those and that needs to be replenished. When I first started training for these things I was trying to keep my sodium low because I'm hypertensive but I kept cramping up all of the time. I spoke to my Dr. who works at a heart hospital and is also a triathlete and he told me to up my sodium despite being hypertensive because I was doing so much endurance work.

    I was shocked to see my daughter at mile 22 of the first marathon she ran. There were white patches on her skin. I asked her what it was after the race and she told me it was salt from sweat. She often has a bag of chips after a run.

    I guess many must see this message from MFP when they log a high salt food, about your goal is to not exceed 2300 mg, I know I do, mostly from certain cold cuts.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,447 Member
    To 8 people: When you find yourself "disagreeing" with the official guidelines for sodium supported by MyFitnessPal and established by the American Heart Association, it might be time to rethink things. There's believing what you read on the web, and then there's going off the reservation.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,874 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I've got 20 years under my belt of doctor guidance on sodium due to borderline high BP and a family history of heart disease. Here's the scoop as it's been told to me over the decades by one doctor after another, including a cardiologist in the middle there somewhere.

    The human body only needs 500 mg of sodium per day. You shouldn't eat less than that. But that isn't really an issue, because it's virtually impossible to eat less than 500 mg. That's approximately the sodium content of one average sized bagel with nothing on it.

    Nobody "should" be eating more than 2,300 mg / day. MFP's default reflects the conventional wisdom in medicine on that one.

    As everyone who logs food on MFP has discovered, it's very easy to exceed 2,300, especially if that includes processed or restaurant food. I just went to PF Changs the other day and was looking over their nutrition stuff. A bowl of hot and sour soup has 3,800 mg. Mongolian Beef has 2,300. For that matter, the soy sauce that people use as a condiment at places like Changs has 700 mg PER TEASPOON, and hot sauces are generally 200-500 mg per teaspoon. An innocent looking turkey and swiss sandwich I made out of Boar's Head cold cuts, one of them being "reduced sodium turkey", added up to 1100 mg. So, that 2300 number is not a walk in the park. This is why Americans average 3,300 mg per day, which is way, way over the recommended amount for good health.

    The American Heart Association says 1,500 should be the limit for most people, certainly for anyone over 40 or with any history (theirs or their family's) of heart disease, stroke, etc. 1,500 can be extremely hard to achieve unless one is (a) cooking one's own food, and (b) really paying attention to the sodium.

    I aim for 1500-2000 and usually manage to be in that range, but can't pull it off when eating at a restaurant. I try to make > 2000 days very rare.

    Sodium is one of those things that's easy to ignore, especially for people trying to drill down on calories and not wanting to get overwhelmed with chasing different rabbits down different holes. So it's understandable that a lot of people don't pay much attention to sodium, but the problems it causes over time aren't problems at all until suddenly they are gigantic problems and then your life is different forever. It's hugely better to adopt a low-sodium mindset and behaviors early in the game of life and stick to it.

    Disagree on the "nobody should be eating more than 2,300 mg/day. In the past I have trained for and participated in numerous multi hour endurance events. You sweat buckets, particularly in the summer when it's 100F+ out there and even hotter on the black top. You lose a ton of salt doing those and that needs to be replenished. When I first started training for these things I was trying to keep my sodium low because I'm hypertensive but I kept cramping up all of the time. I spoke to my Dr. who works at a heart hospital and is also a triathlete and he told me to up my sodium despite being hypertensive because I was doing so much endurance work.

    I was shocked to see my daughter at mile 22 of the first marathon she ran. There were white patches on her skin. I asked her what it was after the race and she told me it was salt from sweat. She often has a bag of chips after a run.

    I guess many must see this message from MFP when they log a high salt food, about your goal is to not exceed 2300 mg, I know I do, mostly from certain cold cuts.

    Yeah, my cycling kit is often covered in white splotches from the salt from sweating. When I was doing a lot of long distance endurance stuff, I would drink pickle juice. There were also usually pickles and peanut butter sandwiches at the rest stations.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,425 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    To 8 people: When you find yourself "disagreeing" with the official guidelines for sodium supported by MyFitnessPal and established by the American Heart Association, it might be time to rethink things. There's believing what you read on the web, and then there's going off the reservation.

    MFP's "official guidelines" also "support" having zero MUFA and PUFA, which would be a seriously bad thing since it would mean zero EFAs.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,447 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    To 8 people: When you find yourself "disagreeing" with the official guidelines for sodium supported by MyFitnessPal and established by the American Heart Association, it might be time to rethink things. There's believing what you read on the web, and then there's going off the reservation.

    MFP's "official guidelines" also "support" having zero MUFA and PUFA, which would be a seriously bad thing since it would mean zero EFAs.

    Yeah, OK, but I was referring to a well-established standard for sodium intake from the American Heart Association, a standard which is very strongly supported by doctors, including and especially cardiologists, as literally anyone who's ever discussed sodium, BP, and heart health with a doctor knows.

    The AHA says 1,500 mg of sodium should be the maximum amount that most adults consume per day, excluding those with unusual health conditions. This is not some old-school thinking or out of date mantra; in fact, the 1,500 mg is based on the latest and greatest research, from the last 10 years. The old # used to be 2,500 and is what MFP's metric is based on.

    There's a time and place for the rebellious, iconoclastic "We know better than the know-it-alls with their fancy-pants MD degrees" shtick, as sometimes seen here on the MFP forums, and there's a time to listen to what medical professionals are saying. Better, in the case of sodium intake, to be a bit less iconoclastic and live a longer, healthier life. It doesn't take much effort to eat a lower sodium diet.

    Many of the people who are dieting are dieting because they are obese. High BP goes hand in hand with that obesity. Those who are encouraging people with either high BP or potential obesity-related high BP in the future to take sodium intake casually or outright ignore it as part of their diet are ... not being helpful, to put it mildly.
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
    Good review of the discussion in this link. TLDR is if you don't have high BP, don't limit salt.

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sodium-per-day#recommendations
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,270 Member
    [/quote]

    And lets face it, often the dietary guidelines aren't always backed by strong science. Just look at the issues with protein. [/quote]

    Just curious, I know many people consider the protein guideline too low, but I believe that is posted as a minimum? I've never seen anything from the government or a respected health organization stating a maximum amount of protein.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,270 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I've got 20 years under my belt of doctor guidance on sodium due to borderline high BP and a family history of heart disease. Here's the scoop as it's been told to me over the decades by one doctor after another, including a cardiologist in the middle there somewhere.

    The human body only needs 500 mg of sodium per day. You shouldn't eat less than that. But that isn't really an issue, because it's virtually impossible to eat less than 500 mg. That's approximately the sodium content of one average sized bagel with nothing on it.

    Nobody "should" be eating more than 2,300 mg / day. MFP's default reflects the conventional wisdom in medicine on that one.

    As everyone who logs food on MFP has discovered, it's very easy to exceed 2,300, especially if that includes processed or restaurant food. I just went to PF Changs the other day and was looking over their nutrition stuff. A bowl of hot and sour soup has 3,800 mg. Mongolian Beef has 2,300. For that matter, the soy sauce that people use as a condiment at places like Changs has 700 mg PER TEASPOON, and hot sauces are generally 200-500 mg per teaspoon. An innocent looking turkey and swiss sandwich I made out of Boar's Head cold cuts, one of them being "reduced sodium turkey", added up to 1100 mg. So, that 2300 number is not a walk in the park. This is why Americans average 3,300 mg per day, which is way, way over the recommended amount for good health.

    The American Heart Association says 1,500 should be the limit for most people, certainly for anyone over 40 or with any history (theirs or their family's) of heart disease, stroke, etc. 1,500 can be extremely hard to achieve unless one is (a) cooking one's own food, and (b) really paying attention to the sodium.

    I aim for 1500-2000 and usually manage to be in that range, but can't pull it off when eating at a restaurant. I try to make > 2000 days very rare.

    Sodium is one of those things that's easy to ignore, especially for people trying to drill down on calories and not wanting to get overwhelmed with chasing different rabbits down different holes. So it's understandable that a lot of people don't pay much attention to sodium, but the problems it causes over time aren't problems at all until suddenly they are gigantic problems and then your life is different forever. It's hugely better to adopt a low-sodium mindset and behaviors early in the game of life and stick to it.

    Disagree on the "nobody should be eating more than 2,300 mg/day. In the past I have trained for and participated in numerous multi hour endurance events. You sweat buckets, particularly in the summer when it's 100F+ out there and even hotter on the black top. You lose a ton of salt doing those and that needs to be replenished. When I first started training for these things I was trying to keep my sodium low because I'm hypertensive but I kept cramping up all of the time. I spoke to my Dr. who works at a heart hospital and is also a triathlete and he told me to up my sodium despite being hypertensive because I was doing so much endurance work.

    It's the old test taking trick. If a true/false question says "all, everybody, nobody", etc it's going to be false. Of course if you look at the scenario you mention we're not talking about many people in that situation.