Shocking or not, 90% of Americans consume sodium in amounts that are above their healthy daily limit. These finding were published earlier this week in the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Salt has become some pervasive in the average American’s food supply that it is becoming almost impossible to avoid it. And with 70% of our salt coming from processed foods, plugging your salt shaker’s holes won’t help.
The daily recommended maximum for sodium consumption for healthy adults is 2300 milligrams. That works out to a teaspoon of salt a day. However, 70% of adults should be consuming 1500 milligrams or less. Sadly, 100,000 people die every year because of health problems such as hypertension that could have been avoided or lessened with a decrease in sodium consumption.
Obviously we should try to prepare more food at home. But even staples that most home cooks buy can contain surprisingly high amounts of sodium. Bread, breakfast cereal, ketchup, pickles, olives, raw meats and condiments can be found in homes of people that prepare meals daily. Unfortunately, many don’t realize that salt lurks in foods that don’t necessarily taste salty.
What to do at the supermarket:
While the food industry is slowly starting to make reductions in salt content of some products, you should make it a habit to look up the sodium content in the nutrition facts panel, just like you do for calories.
Bread should come with less than 200mg per 2 slice serving, soups with less than 500mg, cereals with less than 150mg. Prepared meals are the most dangerous, they should contain no more than 600mg.