Sodium/Salt

Most of the sodium we eat comes in the form of salt. If you eat too much of it, your blood pressure can get too high, raising your risk of heart attack or stroke. Here are some answers to questions you may have about sodium.

How much sodium should you eat?

Generally, adults should eat less than 2,300 mgs of sodium a day. That is equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt.

You should eat less than 1,500 mgs of sodium a day if you…

  • are over 51
  • are African American
  • have high blood pressure
  • have diabetes or kidney disease

Do you know when you’re eating sodium?

Most of the sodium you eat is already in food.

How can you cut back on sodium?

There are many ways to eat less salt and sodium.  Here are a few.

  • Fill up on fruits and veggies. They taste great and are low in sodium.
  • Use spices, herbs, or lemon to flavor your food instead of salt.
  • Look for “unsalted,” “low-sodium,” or “no salt added” options for deli meats, cheeses, soups, and snacks.
  • Limit premade sauces and condiments.

How do you know how much sodium is in the food you buy?

Check food labels before you buy something. Choose foods with less than 400 mgs of sodium per serving.

Where can I get more information about sodium?

From the Maine CDC Cardiovascular Health Program

Sodium Rack Card

Sodium Handout

Sodium Radio Spot

From National Experts

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention

American Heart Association

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute