Risk factor A necessary mineral Sodium sources The salt debate for cardiovascular disease, based on epidemiological studies. Varied intake Average daily sodium intake differs widely among cultures. The saltshaker plays a minor role in American daily sodium intake. Experts are divided in two camps regarding daily salt intake: Shifting guidelines Goals and guidelines for daily sodium intake. 0.5 1.0 2.0 1.5 0 3.4 3.4 2.3 5.98 9.0 By weight, 40 percent of salt (sodium chloride) is sodium, an element that helps regulate blood pressure and nerve and muscle function.However, an excess of sodium causes the blood to accumulate more water and raises blood pressure.High blood pressure can damage the circulatory system and lead to strokes. 75% from processed foods 15% from cooking and the saltshaker 10% naturally contained in foods 2015 2015 YEAR 2010 2005 2000 1995 1990 1985 1980 Nov. 1977 Feb. 1977 Japan Japan Japan 5.98 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Kazakhstan One group of scientists argues that the vast ma-jority of Americans should lower their salt intake and calls for strict salt limits. Another group argues that most Americans are eating a healthy amount of salt, and that lowering salt intake to the U.S. recom-mended levels actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. MORE SALT,MORE RISK LESS SALT,MORE RISK AVERAGE DAILY SODIUM INTAKE, IN GRAMS 0.005 grams — Yanomami Indians, Brazil 0.005 grams — Yanomami Indians, Brazil 0.005 grams — Yanomami Indians, Brazil United States United States United States 2.3 grams (1 teaspoon of salt) 2.3 grams (1 teaspoon of salt) 2.3 2.3 1.5* 1.5* 2.3 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 1.9 (5 grams of salt) 1.9 (5 grams of salt) 1.5* 1.5* 1.5 1.5 U.S. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES U.S. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES U.S. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES “Dietary Guidelines for Ameri-cans,” by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture “Dietary Guidelines for Ameri-cans,” by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture “Dietary Guidelines for Ameri-cans,” by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture “Dietary goals,” a Senate committee “Dietary goals,” a Senate committee “Dietary goals,” a Senate committee 5.0 TIMES THE RISK 5.0 TIMES THE RISK 1.48 — Kenya 1.48 — Kenya 1.48 — Kenya 2.30 — Equatorial Guinea 2.30 — Equatorial Guinea 2.30 — Equatorial Guinea 1.2 (3 grams of salt) 1.2 (3 grams of salt) Limit not specified Limit not specified 4.89 — 4.89 — 4.89 — 4.89 4.89 4.89 Na+ Sodium ion Chloride ion Cl– AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDATION AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDATION American Heart Assn. Journals, Cook, et al; 2014 New England Journal of Medicine, O’Donnell, et al; 2014 * For African Americans and for anyone (regardless of race) over 50

SOURCE: Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, American Heart Association Journal, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, British Medical Journal.