Report Americans eat too much salt

first_imgAbout 44 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets comes from these 10 types of foods:o Breads and rolls.o Cold cuts and cured meats.o Pizza.o Poultry.o Soups.o Sandwiches.o Cheese.o Pasta dishes.o Meat dishes.o Snacks.Source: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe words “sodium” and “salt” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. While most of the sodium we eat is in the form of table salt, which is sodium chloride, some salts don’t contain sodium.Source: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWhen it comes to mealtime, most Americans need to hold the salt.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 90 percent of Americans ages 2 and older eat too much sodium.Americans, on average, eat about 3,300 milligrams of sodium each day. U.S. dietary guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams daily. For comparison, one teaspoon of table salt has about 2,300 milligrams of sodium.People with high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes, or those older than 50, should only consume 1,500 milligrams, according to the guidelines.Excess sodium causes artery walls to thicken and increases blood pressure, said Jendy Newman, a registered dietitian with PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the “silent killer” because many people don’t know they have the disease. Yet, in 2008, hypertension was listed as the primary or contributing cause of death in about 348,000 deaths in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.High blood pressure can also lead to heart disease and stroke, according to the CDC.“If we could reduce sodium, we could make some significant decreases in health care costs and morbidity and mortality,” Newman said.The biggest sodium culprit: processed foods.“For the most part, in our U.S. food culture, we get most of it from the processed and packaged and restaurant food,” Newman said.Frozen TV dinners, canned foods, soups and processed cheeses can carry high amounts of sodium. So can snacks such as pretzels, popcorn and potato chips, which can contain up to 200 milligrams of sodium per serving, said Claire Stoltz-Urch, registered dietitian with Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.last_img read more