Imagine filling a teaspoon with salt and eating it. Your tongue and your brain would deliver an instant message: “Yuck! Too salty!”

And you would reach for the nearest glass of water to wash out your mouth.

Sounds gross to eat that much salt at once, right?

The truth…most people eat nearly twice that amount of salt every day.1

  • That’s more than double the amount of sodium than recommended (less than 1,500 mg per day) to keep the heart healthy.
  • A typical fast-food meal like a burger and fries contains 1,400+ mg of sodium.
  • Many microwave meals and canned soups contain more than 1,000 mg in a single serving.
  • Packaged and processed snacks, sauces, dressings, meats, soups and chips are also high in sodium.

The trouble with high-sodium habits

New research by the European Society of Cardiology suggests that a high-sodium diet doubles the risk for heart failure.2

Too much sodium also raises the risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Poor bone health
  • Weight gain

8 sodium habits for better health

Fortunately, a few simple changes can help you cut back on the amount of sodium you consume. Here are some things you can do:

1. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies.
2. Buy low-sodium foods and soups.
3. Read food labels and track your sodium intake.
4. Drink water instead of soft drinks.
5. Use low-sodium salad dressings made with extra-virgin olive oil or vinegar.
6. Cut back on eating fast food and packaged meals.
7. Cook at home more often. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to season food.
8. Go easy on the salt shaker.

The American Heart Association recommends:

  • No more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day
  • 1,500 mg of sodium per day for most adults

Want to improve your heart health? Use these tips to shake the salt habit.

References
1. American Heart Association. (2021). How much sodium should I eat per day? From: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/how-much-sodium-should-i-eat-per-day
2. Jousilahti, P., et al. (2017). Salt intake and the risk of heart failure. European Society of Cardiology. From: https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/high-salt-intake-associated-with-doubled-risk-of-heart-failure

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