Let’s be clear about one thing from the get-go: Few of us are in danger of coming up short when it comes to our salt (sodium) intake.
“Most people consume adequate amounts of sodium—if not greater amounts than the current recommendation of 2,300 milligrams per day,” says Joy Dubost, PhD, a food scientist and registered dietician.
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The average American diet is notoriously loaded with salt. So if you eat anything resembling the typical three-squares-plus-a-snack program most westerners adhere to, you likely have little to worry about when it comes to your sodium levels.
There are exceptions, which we’ll get to in a minute.
But before we do, Dubost says that if any of the scenarios on this list apply to you—or if you’re thinking about upping your salt consumption for some other reason—first take a week or two to carefully track your sodium intake. (These 5 signs could mean your body wants you to cut back on salt.)
She says apps like SuperTracker or MyFitnessPal can help you with that. Also keep a close eye on your serving sizes and nutrition labels—with an assist from the USDA’s Food Composition Database to help you identify the sodium in your whole or unpackaged foods.
Finally, and most importantly, check with your doctor before getting busy with the salt shaker.
Those caveats aside, when might MORE salt be appropriate? Here are six times: