Seniors are at a higher risk of health complications from high-salt intake. Their daily allowance should be less than the general population.
By Dawn Flemming
We all know that too much salt isn’t good for us. Not only are the elderly not immune to this, but they are at greater risk than non-seniors. In a diet that is high in salt or high in sodium, seniors are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke, kidney stones, heart failure, gastric cancer, osteoporosis and more. Seniors who consume more than 3 grams a day and not physically active are significantly more likely to have decreased brain function over time than seniors who consume less salt.
What can we do? Seniors should think of reducing their intake of frozen dinners, processed foods and salty snacks all of which are high in sodium. If they eat canned foods, they should make sure to rinse them as they often contain salt as a preservative.
How much salt is enough? People between 50-70 should restrict themselves to about 1.3 grams of sodium a day which is about half a teaspoon of salt. Seniors who are over 71 should have less, about 1.2 grams maximum as they are more likely to suffer from health complications as a result.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.