Cutting back on sodium in a family’s diet is challenging, and new research (abstract) confirms the importance of persevering when it comes to lowering sodium intake and highlights the difficulty we all have in doing it. Lowered sodium intake is important for everyone, but especially for older adults with chronic problems such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure.
Published in the August 1, 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the article itself is not freely available.
The latest sodium research analyzed data collected by The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Survey participants were randomly selected and are representative of the overall United States population.
The sodium intake data came from face-to-face interviews of 12, 581 adults over a six-year period. As a part of the interview each person was asked to recall what food he or she had consumed over the past 24 hours. Using this information, the researchers were able to evaluate sodium consumption.
Some Important Findings
- 99.4% of those surveyed consumed more sodium than is recommended by the American Heart Association Guidelines.
- Women consumed 1,000-1,400 mg. less sodium on a daily basis than men.
- Adults age 71 and older consumed the least amount of sodium, but the amount was still above recommended guidelines.
A Reuters article, Most Americans Still Eating too Much Salt, provides a good summary of the study.
To learn more about getting started with a low sodium diet, check out this PDF, How to Follow a Low Sodium Diet, from the Heart Failure Society of America.
You may want to read other posts in my low sodium diet series.