Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Health organizations want Americans to cut salt by half

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I'll be honest here and admit that, because I've never had a blood pressure problem, I once believed it didn't matter how much salt I ate. Older and at least a little wiser, I now realized that as a nation, we all eat far too much sodium than is healthy. Four major health organizations -- the AMA, AHA, ADA, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health -- have teamed up in a national campaign to cut our intake of salt by 50%. Cutting salt can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of death.

What can you do to lower your salt intake? You can eat fewer processed foods and become a savvy label reader. You can make more of your foods at home and use spices instead of salts to flavor food. When eating out, ask for unsalted foods and empty your salt shaker at home. You can even consider making your own bread, since bread and cereal products account for a large portion of our daily intake. Shoot for 1,500 to 2,400 mg of salt a day, which seems like a lot but is much lower than the 4,000 to 6,000 mg the average American eats today.

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