Sodium and High Blood Pressure

Topic Overview

Eating a lot of sodium is linked with high blood pressure and problems in the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels..

Reducing sodium in the diet can prevent high blood pressure in those at risk for the disease and can help control high blood pressure. Limiting sodium is part of a heart-healthy eating plan that can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

Try to eat less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, if you are African-American, or if you are older than age 50, try to limit the amount of sodium you eat to less than 1,500 mg a day.1

To learn more, see:

Click here to view an Actionset.Healthy Eating: Eating Less Sodium.
Click here to view an Actionset.Low-Salt Diets: Eating Out.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2010). Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, 7th ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Also available online: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010.asp.

Other Works Consulted

  • Appel LJ, et al. (2011). The importance of population-wide sodium reduction as a means to prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke: A call to action from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 123(10): 1138–1143.
  • Whelton PK, et al. (2012). Sodium, blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease: Further evidence supporting the American Heart Association sodium reduction recommendations. Circulation, 126(24): 2880–2889.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised April 5, 2013

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