What's that again?
A study (yeah I know... yet another study) commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entitled "Sodium Intake In Populations: Assessment of Evidence" confirms that there is no evidence substantial enough to limit sodium consumption to less than 2,300 milligram daily for Americans. Researchers concluded that one-and-a-half to three tablespoons of salt per day is not detrimental to a person's health, contrary to past belief.
The report also discusses emerging debates about the proper level of dietary sodium intake. "Despite efforts over the past several decades to reduce sodium intake in the United States, adults still consume an average of 3,400 mg of sodium every day," the researchers wrote.
Clearly, the average intake far exceeds the daily recommended cap of 2,300 milligrams, but based on the new findings, reducing salt intake isn't as important as once thought. "The committee found no consistent evidence to support an association between sodium intake and either a beneficial or adverse effect on most health outcomes," the researchers wrote.
One Fact Remains
High blood pressure remains a risk factor for high-sodium diets, and those with high blood pressure should not consume more than the suggested daily salt intake. In a 2011 study, 28,800 subjects with high blood pressure ages 55 and older were analyzed for almost five years. Their risk of heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure, and death from heart disease increased significantly when they consumed more than 7,000 milligrams of sodium a day or consumed less than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day. As lower sodium levels decrease, triglyceride levels increase, which leads to increased insulin resistance and thus increased risk of heart disease.
So it appears to me that people in the middle are fairing the best. Keep it slightly above 3000 milligrams (earlier mentioned 3400 milligrams) and it should not have as detrimental of effects based on looking at what average people consume on a daily basis already and what the studies support. Don't over do the salt but you can loosen the reigns a bit from being obsessed with completely wiping it out of your diet. Well... at least until there is yet ANOTHER study that will contradict this one.