¿Cuánto sodio debo consumir al día?

La American Heart Association no recomienda ingerir más de 2300 miligramos (mg) al día ni superar un límite ideal de 1500 mg al día para la mayoría de los adultos.

Dado que el estadounidense medio consume un exceso de sodio, incluso reducirlo a 1000 miligramos al día puede mejorar significativamente la presión arterial y la salud cardíaca.

And remember, more than 70 percent of the sodium Americans eat comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods — not the salt shaker. 

On average, Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day — much more than the American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend. Most of us are likely underestimating how much sodium we eat, if we can estimate it at all.

Keeping sodium in check is part of following an overall healthy eating pattern.

¿Cómo puedo saber cuánto sodio estoy consumiendo?

Puede encontrar la cantidad de sodio que contienen los alimentos consultando la etiqueta de información nutricional. La cantidad de sodio por ración se indica en miligramos (o mg). Lea la lista de ingredientes en busca de palabras como “sodio”, “sal” y “sódico”. El sodio total que se muestra en la etiqueta de información nutricional incluye el sodio de la sal, además del sodio de cualquier otro ingrediente que contenga sodio del producto. Por ejemplo, esto incluye ingredientes como nitrato de sodio, citrato de sodio, glutamato monosódico (GMS) o benzoato sódico.

Remember to take note of the serving size on the Nutrition Facts label. If your portion size equals two servings of a product, you’re actually eating double the sodium listed. 

A continuación, se indican los términos relacionados con el sodio que puede ver en los envases de alimentos:

  • Salt/Sodium-Free – Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving
  • Very Low Sodium – 35 milligrams or less per serving
  • Low Sodium – 140 milligrams or less per serving
  • Reduced Sodium – At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level
  • Light in Sodium or Lightly Salted– At least 50 percent less sodium than the regular product 

No-Salt-Added or Unsalted – No salt is added during processing – but these products may not be salt/sodium-free unless stated

Recuerde: Los niveles de sodio varían en los mismos alimentos según la marca o el restaurante.

At the end of the day it’s easy to tally how much sodium you consumed so you can make better choices as needed. Sometimes a small adjustment can bring big results when it comes to your health! 

¿Existe algo así como comer muy poco sodio?

Worried that you’re not getting enough sodium? It’s not likely. There’s no reliable evidence that eating less than 1,500 mg per day of sodium is a risk for the general population. 
The body needs only a small amount of sodium (less than 500 milligrams per day) to function properly. That’s a mere smidgen — the amount in less than ¼ teaspoon. Very few people come close to eating less than that amount. Plus, healthy kidneys are great at retaining the sodium that your body needs. 

The guideline to reduce to 1,500 mg may not apply to people who lose big amounts of sodium in sweat, like competitive athletes, and workers exposed to major heat stress, such as foundry workers and fire fighters, or to those directed otherwise by their healthcare provider. There is some evidence that it could be harmful to certain patients with congestive heart failure.

If you have a medical conditions or other special dietary needs or restrictions, you should follow the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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