Salt/Sugar Intake

Recommendations for Salt/Sugar Intake

Salt Intake

The majority of health organizations recommend that healthy adults consume between 1,500 mg and 2,400 mg of sodium per day. This is equivalent to around three quarter of a teaspoon of table salt. Sodium is vital for many reactions and proper fluids balance in our bodies. However, unfortunately we might be consuming way more than the recommended amount without knowing it and thus increasing our risk of developing hypertension and heart or kidney disease.

Sodium is found in many processed foods, canned products, biscuits, potato chips, seasonings, and many others as it is used as a preservative. Make sure you read the food label before consuming the food product.

Sugar Intake

Sugar is considered a carbohydrate that provides your body with energy. It occurs naturally in many foods such as fruits, vegetables, honey or dairy products and is sometimes added to food products for flavor. Sucrose, the common table sugar added in foods, derives from sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses and provides calories with no added nutrients.

Recommendations from many health organizations for the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat per day are:

  • Men: no more than 9 teaspoons or 37.5 grams per day
  • Women: no more than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day

By exceeding those amounts you would be increasing your risk of gaining weight as well as developing numerous diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, tooth decay and cardiovascular problems.

Artificial sweeteners; are they good?

Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are practically calorie free. These include aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin and neotame.

People might choose to consume artificial sweeteners as way to control their weight, or protect their teeth from dental decay or even control their blood sugar levels.

Although many claim that artificial sweeteners might lead to numerous health problems, including cancer, studies have shown that consumption of limited quantities are safe.

While studies have been performed on small quantities, studies on higher quantities are still needed to prove their safety on the long term. However, since these substances are believed to be toxic if consumed in high doses, the Food and Drugs Administration has proposed Acceptable Daily Intake levels that if respected, cause no health risks.

Artificial sweeteners Acceptable daily intake levels
Aspartame 50 mg/kg body weight
Neotame 18 mg/kg body weight
Acesulfame potassium 15 mg/kg body weight
Sucralose 5 mg/kg body weight
Saccharin 5 mg/kg body weight