Frequent Questions

How much does water contribute to sodium in my diet?

In a National Inorganics and Radionuclides Survey, conducted by EPA in the mid-1980s, about 3 /4 of 989 water systems included had concentrations of sodium of less that 50 mg/l. Assuming that an adult weighing 70 kilograms (about 150 pounds) drinks two liters (about 8 glasses) per day, he or she would typically ingest less than 100 mg of sodium per day from drinking water. Based on this data, a 1/4-liter serving (about an 8-ounce glass) would contain less than 12.5 mg of sodium, well within FDA's "very low sodium" category. It is important to note that sodium is an essential nutrient. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommends that most healthy adults need to consume at least 500 mg/day, and that sodium intake be limited to no more than 2400 mg/day. A Food and Drug Administration publication, "Scouting for Sodium and Other Nutrients Important to Blood Pressure" (FDA 95-2284) states that most American adults tend to eat between 4,000 and 6,000 mg of sodium per day, "and therapeutic sodium restricted diets can range from below 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg per day." It lists the following nutrient guidelines for food labeling: Low-sodium: 140 mg or less per serving (or, if the serving is 30 g or less or two tablespoons or less, 140 mg or less per 50 g of the food) Very low-sodium: 35 mg or less per serving (or, if the serving is 30 g or less or two tablespoons or less, 35 mg or less per 50 g of the food) Sodium-free: Less than 5 mg per serving
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