The maximum intake of sodium recommended per day is 2,300 mg. The average American consumes around 3,400 mg a day. The problem with this is that too much sodium raises your blood pressure, which can cause heart diseases and strokes. In women the excess amount puts them at a higher risk for osteoporosis as well. Sodium is completely necessary in our diets however. It helps our body maintain the water balance in cells as well as helping the nerve impulses and muscles function.
The main reason our sodium intake is so high is because of the more and more processed foods we eat. Salt is naturally occurring in many foods though. Tomatoes can have up to 14 mg of sodium while corn contains just 1 mg. A serving of seven cucumbers has about 2 mg and when you compare that to a dill pickle, which can have about 928 mg a serving, you can see how much healthier fresh vegetables can be. Due to the fact that canned food has a ton of sodium, one suggestion is to rinse the food before you eat it to remove some of the salt.
Eight ounces of tap water even contains around 12 mg of sodium. Some tap water can even have concentrations up to 50 mg according to the FDA. Of course, the main ingredient you want to watch out for is salt. A quarter teaspoon of salt contains 500 mg of sodium. This obviously means that using just one teaspoon on any meal can put you close to the limit without taking into account the sodium already in your food.
It is always good to be wary of what is in your food already before you add more to it. Yes, salt tastes good, but is it good enough to risk your health.