We in the USA consume too much salt.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) of salt a day, with the ideal goal of just 1,500 mgs.
- 1,500 mgs sounds like a lot, but it works out to be less than 3/4th of a teaspoon! Yikes.
On average, adults in the USA consume closer to 3,400 mg, more than double what is ideal.
Why is that a bad thing?
If you have too much salt in your bloodstream, water gets pulled into your blood cells, plumping them up. This in turn can bump up your blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Cutting down on salt isn’t as easy as just putting away the salt shaker
The amount of salt you get naturally in food or add on your own is under 25% of your total intake.
- Around 75% of the salt in our diet comes from processed food and eating out
We need to make informed choices when grocery shopping and eating out
- When buying packaged foods, check the labels. Some processed dinners contain more than a day’s worth of salt.
As a general rule, 20% of the daily recommended allowance is considered high.
When dining out, it may be hard to know exactly how much salt you are consuming, but in general you should avoid:
- Quick serve restaurants where the food is already salted
- Pickled, cured and smoked foods
- Dishes that contain soy sauce, broth or canned tomatoes
Good luck in your quest to eat well!