How Much Sodium Do You Need? (Page 8)

5. Your Kidneys

Keeping your salt intake in check can help prevent kidney disease. The reason: too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is one of the most common causes of kidney disease. "If you already have kidney disease the stakes are even higher, especially since most people with kidney disease are salt sensitive," says Joseph A. Vassalotti, M.D., chief medical ­officer for the National Kidney Foundation. "The better your blood pressure control, the less likely you are to lose kidney function over time." According to a 2013 Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study, people with moderate to severe kidney disease who cut their sodium to between 1,380 and 1,840 mg daily for six weeks lowered their systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 and 4 points respectively. They also improved other markers of kidney disease.

Pictured Recipe: Tilapia with Grapefruit-Caper Sauce

Next: 6. Your Bones »

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