Sodium and Health

Sodium and Health

Sodium and Health

You may have had friends, content creators, or even healthcare providers mention the importance of managing your sodium intake, but what’s all the fuss about? Let’s talk about the role sodium plays in the diet and your health, and how we handle it here at N4L.

What is Sodium?

Sodium is a mineral and one of the elements that comprises table salt (AKA sodium chloride). Sodium, as salt, is typically used as an ingredient for baking, retaining moisture, preserving food, and enhancing flavor. It's also very common in many brands of processed foods such as chips, breads, soups, deli meats, and canned goods.

Sodium is an essential nutrient for the body; it helps maintain fluid balance as well as muscle and nerve function. However, the amount you consume is key. Consuming more than the recommended amount of sodium associated with conditions such as stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and hypertension.


How Much Sodium?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends for individuals aim for a sodium intake of less than 2,300 mg per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of salt. However, the average intake for Americans is 3,400 mg!


To put this into perspective, a large meal including soda from a fast-food chain averages around 1,840 mg of sodium. A shrimp alfredo dish from a chain restaurant consists of 2,950 mg, far beyond the daily recommended amount. It’s not just eating out either; more than 70% of sodium in the standard American diet comes from processed foods. If someone frequents eating out or consuming processed foods, they may be consistently going over the recommended 2300 mg. Taking in too much sodium causes it to accumulate in the blood, which then draws water from the cells into the blood. This increase in blood volume puts more pressure on the arteries and veins, raising blood pressure and risk of a cardiovascular event.


Nutrition Labels

So, what can you do in your day-to-day to manage your sodium intake and therefore decrease your health risks? A key skill is knowing how to read a nutrition label. Both the actual sodium content and the ‘% Daily Value’ are useful tools for determining how much a nutrient contributes to a total daily amount. Food packaging may also have other claims about sodium content which are controlled by the FDA.


Label Claim

What it means per 1 serving

Sodium free, salt free or no sodium

Less than 5 mg of sodium and no ingredient that is sodium chloride or contains sodium

Very low sodium

35 mg or less of sodium

Low sodium

140 mg or less of sodium

Reduced or less sodium

At least 25% less sodium than the regular product

Light or lite in sodium

At least 50% less sodium than the regular product

Lightly salted

50% less sodium than normally added

No salt added or unsalted

No salt added during processing. If the food is not naturally sodium free, the statement “not a sodium free food” or “not for control of sodium in the diet” must also appear on the label.


N4L and Sodium Content

At N4L, our goal is to provide food that is both delicious and nutritious. We follow The Longevity Diet and comply with the USDA and American Heart Association guidelines for all nutrients, including sodium. So when you look at a day’s worth of meals from us, you’ll always see a total sodium content of less than 2300mg. Here’s a comparison between our meals and their restaurant counterparts.





We do need sodium to live but going overboard can be a real risk. However, eating a diet that’s lower in sodium doesn't have to be boring. By using herbs, spices, and flavor enhancers like citrus, we pack our meals full of flavor so that every bite tastes good and is good for you!



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