Scientific, information & consultancy services for the food industry

Sodium to salt converter and the recommended maximum daily intake of salt for babies, children and adults

Scientific evidence is accumulating to suggest that reducing salt intake has the potential to reduce strokes, reduce blood pressure and reduce deaths from coronary heart disease. Evidence for the benefits of salt reduction have been well reviewed and an easily assessable, quality On Line resource can be accessed through the CASH website. Note there are some eminent scientists who have reservations about the role of salt in heart disease.

The currently agreed maximum salt intake in the UK, which is age dependant, is shown in Table 1. WHO guidance suggests that adults should not consume more than 5 g of salt a day. Note the protective effects of potassium are now being recognised. Interestingly McGreggor and He (2003) have predicted that reducing salt from 12g/day to 3g/day would prevent about 33% of all strokes and some 25% of ischemic heart disease cases, potentially preventing 20,500 deaths from stroke and 31,400 deaths from ischemic heart disease every year in the UK alone.

Table 1. Recommended maximum daily salt intakes in the United Kingdom
Age group Maximum salt intake per day (g)
0-6 months < 1
6-12 months 2
1-3 years 3
4-6 years 4
7-10 years 5
11 years - adult 6
Source: FSA (2007)

Use the calculator below to determine the salt concentration in foods.

Sodium to salt calculator and estimation of the contribution of an individual meal to the recommended maximum daily salt intake for babies, infants, children and adults.

Weight of meal, grams
Sodium concentration, g / 100g of food*

* Refer to label. Sodium can also be expressed in milligrams (mg). There are 1000 mg in 1 gram (g), 500mg = 0.5g.

Recommended reading

Cash, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Date not known). Available:

He, F. J. and MacGregor, G. A.(2003). How far should salt intake be reduced? Hypertension. 42, 1093–1099.

Food Standards Agency (2007).FSA nutrient and food based guidelines for UK
institutions. Available from: .

How to cite this article

Mullan, W.M.A. (2008, revised 2015;2018). [On-line] UK: Available: Accessed: