The CDC has a message for us – most Americans daily salt consumption is too high, likely without even realizing it. What happens is that people unknowingly up their chances of developing high blood pressure, along with heart disease and also stroke according to a new report.
But it’s not just the saltshaker that’s causing all the trouble; most of our sodium comes from other, less obvious, sources.
Almost three quarters of the salt found in our diet comes from commercial foods, with salt added when they’re processed, or restaurant foods when they’re cooked; only 25% of our salt intake comes naturally as part of the foods we eat, or is added during cooking or at the table.
One teaspoon of table salt brings 2,325 milligrams of sodium. If you’re like most Americans, you’re taking in far more sodium (around 3,400 mg/day) than you should be.
Of course your body needs some sodium to retain the right balance of fluids, helps transmit nerve impulses and influences the contraction/relaxation of muscles. The kidneys do the job of balancing the sodium levels in your body, only when they can’t do the job does the sodium accumulate in your blood, your blood volume increases and this makes your heart work harder, putting pressure on your arteries.
Some people are more salt sensitive than others.
The results of the report are based on information from 18,823 subjects that was collected from 2005 to 2008.
According to the report, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 two levels of salt intake recommended.1. Those over age 51, who are African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease should take in a maximum of 1,500 mg a day. This will help cut your risk of hypertension and other heart related complication. This guideline applies to almost 48% of the total population over 2 years old. The CDC report says that almost all (99%) people who fall into this group goes over the recommended amount of salt intake each day.2. All others over two years old should take in no a maximum of 2,300 mg of salt a day according to the federal guidelines. Around 90% of these people exceed the daily recommended intake for sodium.
The IOM (Institute of Medicine) believes the 1,500 milligram sodium intake level is good for the majority of adults, excluding those such as firemen and athletes who do things that encourage excessive sweating. The concern is that with so many of us exceeding the recommendations, there are lots more people at risk for hypertension and other dangerous diseases.
Experts want to get our salt intake numbers down. In the United Kingdom. both public and private initiatives have cut the individual salt intake by nearly 10% a day. If that could happen in the United States, its estimated up to $4 billion each year in health care could be saved.
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If you’re worried about your own daily salt consumption, talk with your doctor and do what you can to watch how much you’re getting.