If you’re like the average American, you may be eating too much salt without even realizing it.
Average sodium intake in the U.S. is about 3,400 milligrams per day, nearly 50 percent higher than the 2,300-milligram limit recommended by the FDA.
Diets high in sodium are associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can put people at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other health problems.
That’s a central reason why the FDA is in the midst of a 10-year effort to encourage the food industry to voluntarily make changes to help the public gradually reduce its sodium intake to the daily recommended value.
But for those who are concerned about the myriad health problems linked to high-sodium diets, the time to act is now, says Hillary Joel, a registered dietitian for Tidelands Health.
“Ultimately, as consumers we need to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies,” Joel says. “Read the labels and you might discover you’re consuming much more salt than you thought.”