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90% American eat too much salt : CDC

Posted by on Jun 25, 2010 | Leave a Comment

According to new report from CDC, 90% American eat too much salt with most of them getting more than twice the recommended amount and risking high blood pressure and heart ailments. That means, only 10% Americans keep their salt intake within recommended levels.

The average daily sodium intake of Americans was 3,466 milligrams, twice as much as recommended in health authorities’ guidelines, found by the Atlanta, Georgia-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A big reason behind intake of too much salt by Americans is five high-sodium foods, not all of them salty tasting. According to the CDC study, only 9.6% of U.S. adults limit their daily sodium intake to recommended levels including 5.5 percent of the group limited to 1,500 milligrams and 18.8 percent of the 2,300 milligrams per day group. All that sodium coming from salt mostly and only 10% of it come from shakers.

For good health, Americans are advised to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. While people with high blood pressure, all middle-age and older adults and all African-Americans should limit their intake of sodium to 1,500 milligrams.

From study, it is also determined that 77 percent of the salt eaten by Americans comes from processed and restaurant foods, especially pizza, breads and cookies that “may not even taste salty.”

The CDC report identifies five foods that give Americans most of their salt, includes:

  • Pasta dishes
  • Yeast breads
  • Pizza
  • Cold cuts
  • Chicken and mixed chicken dinners

Food groups from which Americans get the most sodium include:

  • Meats, including poultry and fish, contribute 28% of our daily sodium
  • Vegetables contribute more than 12% of our daily sodium. This seems surprising, but potato chips and french fries are vegetables. And canned vegetables, vegetable soups, and vegetable sauces tend to be loaded with salt
  • Grains contribute 37% of our daily sodium. These foods include grain-based frozen meals and soups, breads, and pizza (which is mostly salty bread).

The study’s lead author Janelle Peralez Gunn said, “Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it’s difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits.”

The study concurs with a Food and Drug Administration review of daily sodium guidelines, which specialists recommend should be lower than they are.

High salt intake increases the risk of high blood pressure and high blood pressure increases risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. According to CDC calculation, if everyone followed sodium-intake guidelines then heart disease cases would be lowered up to 120,000 and strokes up to 66,000 each year.

With the help of following suggestions, you can decrease your daily sodium intake.

  • Consume more fresh and frozen vegetables
  • Eat less processed food
  • Compare labels to choose low-sodium foods (and don’t be fooled by deceptive labels)
  • Wash the food well with water to remove as much salt as possible especially when use canned vegetables or beans.

Peralez Gunn said in a statement, “Public health professionals, together with food manufacturers, retailers and healthcare providers, must take action now to help support people’s efforts to reduce their sodium consumption”.


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