Exceeding the recommended sodium intake is known to worsen hypertension, so it is important to know how much salt your body can take. According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended sodium intake for each age group is:
- 1000 mg for children aged 1 to 3
- 1200 mg for children aged 4 to 8
- 1500 mg for people aged 9 to 50
- 1300 mg for adults aged 51 to 70
- 1200 mg for seniors aged 70+
In 2004, Statistics Canada found that most Canadians far exceed this recommended sodium intake. They shockingly found that the average sodium intake for each age group were:
- 2000 mg for children aged 1 to 3
- 2700 mg for children aged 4 to 8
- 3300 mg for people aged 9 to 50
- 3000 mg for adults aged 51 to 70
- 2500 mg for seniors aged 70+
This is far above the recommended sodium intake, and for people with hypertension, especially children, it is important that those recommended values are met. If hypertension is not treated before adulthood, the likelihood of a stroke and cardiovascular diseases developing increase exponentially. Adults with high blood pressure should also cut back on sodium until they reach the recommended sodium intake values to help treat their condition. The co-relation between salt and hypertension is common knowledge.
Statistic Canada's study revealed that the the biggest culprit for high sodium intake is pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs, responsible for 19.1% of Canadians' total sodium intake. Other sources include soups, pasta and dairy products. Processed foods are responsible for 77% of a person's total sodium intake, and so to meet those recommended sodium intake values, it is important that people with hypertension cut back on those high-risk foods.