The World Health Organization (WHO) released today the new amounts of sodium and potassium adults should consume per day: 5 grams of salt (or 2,000 mg sodium) and at least 3,510 mg of potassium.
Elevated levels of sodium and not enough potassium could lead to heart disease or stroke.
Sodium is difficult to avoid because it’s found naturally in so many types of foods: eggs, bread, milk and cream, condiments, meats, snack foods, and more.
Many foods lose potassium levels through processing, but your best bets are fruits like bananas, dates, and papayas; vegetables like parsley, cabbage, and spinach; nuts; beans and peas.
(You can reference the chart below to find out the exact amounts).
Why is all of this of concern? Most people consume too much sodium and not enough potassium, according to Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.
“Elevated blood pressure is a major risk for heart disease and stroke – the number one cause of death and disability globally.”
WHO is hoping that by making changes and updates to their dietary guidelines, consumers will be more inclined to check product labels and food manufacturers will start to reduce the amounts of sodium they add to processed foods.
Next up: updating guidelines on the intake of fats and sugars to reduce the risk of obesity and other noncommunicable diseases.
Milk and cream (50 mg of sodium per 100 g)
Eggs (80 mg/100 g).
Bread (250 mg/100 g)
Processed meats like bacon (1,500 mg/100 g)
Pretzels, cheese puffs and popcorn (1,500 mg/100 g)
Condiments such as soy sauce (7,000 mg/100 g)
Bouillon or stock cubes (20,000 mg/100 g)
Beans and peas (1,300 mg of potassium per 100 g)
Nuts (approximately 600 mg/100 g),
Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, and parsley (550 mg/100 g)
Fruits such as bananas, papayas, and dates (300 mg/100 g).