Every five years, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture update their guidelines for healthy eating. According to the most recent edition, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, most of us exceed the recommendations for sodium and added calories from sugar and saturated fats, while not meeting the recommendations for fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Notably, the new guidelines for sodium suggest limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg daily (1 teaspoon) for people over 14 and lower levels for kids younger than 14.
Why are these sodium restrictions important? High sodium levels can lead to hypertension, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney failure. In fact, in 2010, 1.65 million people died globally from heart conditions related to sodium consumption higher than 2,000 mg per day.