How Much Salt Have You Eaten Today?

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konsumsi garamHow Much Salt Have You Eaten Today?

Salt in chemistry defined as ionic component result of neutralization process of acid and base. The salt we know in daily life is Sodium Chloride or usually called table salt. Sodium composes 40% part of table salt, essential substance that has an important role in our body.

Most of South Asian people consume salt in pretty high amount, around 10 grams per day, this amount is almost three times adult salt daily need. In Indonesia, salt consumption rate reach 15 grams per day.(1) Whereas based on Dietary Reference Intake that published by Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine of National Academics in America, daily need of sodium for male and female (childbearing, lactating, or not) age of 8-50 years old are all same, which is 1500 mg per days, equal to 3.75 grams of table salt. This requirement is decreased along with aging.  For people 50-70 years old, daily requirement of sodium is 1300mg/day, meanwhile people >70 years old need 1200mg/day.(2)

Based on the data from Basic Health Research (RISKESDA) in 2007, people in Indonesia tend to eat foods high in salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in pretty big amount. The foods are including salted fishes, bread, and food spice and seasoning.  MSG and table salt are the most used food seasoning in daily dishes.  It was estimated that 77% male and female populations above 10 years old consume food contain MSG one or more times a day.  It’s also estimated that 24% population consume salt-preserved foods one or more times a day.

Many researches have showed tight correlation between high sodium consumption and blood pressure raise. This effect varies in each individual, but some factors known to influence the raise, including old age, black, obesity, previous hypertension history, diabetes, and salt-sensitive family history.(3)

High blood pressure is one of risk factors for vascular –related diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Thus, Joint National Committee (JNC) 7 on Hypertension suggested reducing salt consumption to maintain normal blood pressure.(4) The same recommended amount as suggested by American Heart Association (AHA) in 2006, which  is <1500 mg/day equal to 3.75 grams table salt per day.(5)

Following are some foods high in sodium that better be limited or even avoided:

Foods Contain High Sodium

Food Additive

Processed Foods


Table salt, MSG

Instant broth

Baking soda

Foot preservatives

Soy sauce (sweet or salty)

Sauce (ketchup, chili, oyster, etc.)


Salted fishes, Salted egg

Canned foods (soup, sardines, cornets, vegetables)

Frozen foods (sausage, meatballs, nuggets, fries)

Pickles, Cheese

Instant foods

Fast foods




Too much salt (sodium) is not good






Try to see the package snacks you buy to know the amount of sodium



1.      WHO Regional Office for South East Asia. Expert Meeting on Population Sodium Reduction Strategies for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Disease in the South-East Asia Region. India: 11-13 December 2012

2.      Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intake for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. 2004. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.

3.      Logan, AG. Dietary Sodium Intake and Its Relation to Human Health: A Summary of Evidence. Journal of the American Collage of Nutrition 2006; 25(3): 165-169

4.      US Department of Health and Human Services. The Seventh Report of the Joint Committee in PreventionmDetectionm Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. National Institute of Health Publication: 2004

5.      Lechtenstein AH, Appel LJ, Brands M, Carnethon M, Daniels S, Franch HA. Diet and Lifestyle Reccomendations Revision 2006: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation 2006; 114: 82-96

About the author

Alexander Randy Angianto

Board Certification: Medical Doctor, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada Internal Medicine Resident, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia


Posted: September 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm, Last Updated: January 19, 2016 at 10:54 am

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