How Much Sodium do Americans Consume?

Americans consume, on average, 3,466 milligrams (mg) of sodium on a daily basis. Recommended levels for young, healthy people are less than 2,300 mg per day. Doctors recommend that older adults and African Americans consume even fewer milligrams at less than 1,500 mg per day because of their increased risk for hypertension.

More Salty Facts:

  • In the US, processed food and meals at fast food restaurants account for 77 percent of the average American's dietary sodium intake.

  • Sodium is a leading factor in high blood pressure disease — a disease that an estimated 90 percent of Americans will develop at some point in their lifetime.

  • Regular foods contain sodium, too. For example, 1 cup (227 grams) of cottage cheese has more than 900 mg of sodium; pastrami has about 1,227 mg; and the sodium content in a frozen pizza can range from 450 mg to 1,200 mg. Condiments can have a lot of sodium too — 1 tablespoon (14.8 milliliters) of soy sauce can have as much as 1,000 mg of sodium.

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