Excessive salt intake linked to serious health issues

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:

There’s a link between high sodium and health issues, as 90% of Americans consume too much salt.

Salt adds flavor to your food, but are you overeating salt? Dietary guidelines say adults shouldn’t have more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily, but the average American consumes 3,400 milligrams daily.

“Excessive amounts of salt may increase their risk for high blood pressure,” said Alessandra Stanopolis, a registered Dietician.

More than four in 10 Americans have high blood pressure, and it can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, gastric issues, osteoporosis, kidney disease, cancer, obesity and meniere’s disease.

The World Health Organization says 1.89 million deaths each year are linked to too much sodium.

The biggest high-sodium culprits are processed or convenience foods.

“Those foods are going to tend to have more salt because salt helps preserve those foods,” said Stanopolis.

But only 15% of your sodium intake comes from here. Some surprising sources of sodium are soups, breads, condiments, meat and salad dressings.

In fact, a slice of cheese can have the same amount of sodium as an ounce of potato chips.

To lower your salt intake:

  • Try to eat mostly fresh, minimally processed foods
  • Cut back on high-sodium foods like deli meats, pizza, burritos and sandwiches
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt to season your food
  • Read your food labels

“It’s just important to check that label before you grab something off the shelf,” said Stanopolis.

As much as 70% of the sodium you get comes from processed and restaurant food, so if you make it yourself, you are less likely to experience a sodium bomb.

Is Himalayan salt any better for you? Consumer testers say there is a slight difference. Himalayan salt has 1,000 milligrams less sodium per tablespoon.

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