Sodium, more widely known as a component of table salt, is an electrolyte meaning it helps muscles and nerves function correctly, and is also essential for hydration. But, too much sodium is not good for your blood pressure and heart health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day. For children, the recommendation is even lower than this. Sodium content of foods can be found on the nutrition facts label of packaged items. Foods that are typically high in sodium include canned soups, frozen prepared meals, chips/pretzels, nuts, ham, jerky/dried meats, broths, salami and cold cuts, and hot dogs. Choose low sodium foods wherever possible - look for sodium content below 140 mg. An easy way to do this is to eat as many fresh foods as possible like fruits, vegetables, and foods sold in their whole, unprocessed form like dry beans and grains.
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