Health Campaign Calls for 50% Less Salt Consumption

Because of the modern American diet, most people get too much sodium, though some older adults don’t get enough. How much salt is too much?

More and more evidence points to a need for Americans to decrease their salt intake. To that end, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the National Institutes of Health have kicked off a campaign with a goal of reducing individuals’ salt intake to 50% of the current levels.

Amy Schnabel, a clinical nutrition manager at UCLA Medical Center predicts that 90% of Americans will develop high blood pressure if they don’t take positive steps to prevent it.

High salt intake can lead to hypertension and increased risk of stroke or heart attack.
The good news is that there are some simple things that can be done to vastly decrease cardiovascular disease risks.

A recent study in the British Medical Journal showed that reducing salt intake by about 30% can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25%.

According to experts, the key is improved awareness about what you eat—identifying which foods contain high amounts of sodium.

The FDA recommends no more than 2,400 mg per day, or about 1 teaspoon.

Sources:

  • British Medical Journal (April 19, 2007)
  • Newswise: Belvoir Media Group

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