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American Heart Association updates guidelines on salt intake

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Heart Association is updating its guidelines on sodium and reiterating the advice we’ve all heard for years- eat less salt.

It now recommends adults eat a little more than half a teaspoon (1,500 mg) of salt per day.
According to the AHA, most Americans eat unsafe levels of sodium without realizing it. Researchers found the average U.S. adult eats about 50 percent more sodium every day than the American Heart Association recommends. 

The science clearly links excess salt to high blood pressure, which is a silent threat that affects more than 75 million people in the United States.

More than 70 percent of the salt we eat, according to the AHA, comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods. We know that food companies and restaurants are making decisions about the salt in our food. It’s time to take back control.

The American Heart Association says, "Now is the time to break up our nation’s love affair with salt to improve public health."

How can you take back control of the salt in your food? Here are two simple steps from the AHA:

  • Be selective when it comes to the salty six. These popular foods add the most sodium to the American diet: cold cuts and cured meats,  pizza, soups, breads and rolls, chicken, burritos and tacos. For these items, check the label and replace cheeses and meats with fruits and veggies when you can!
  • Don’t sacrifice taste. Most of the time, sodium masks true flavor. Maximize flavor and save time by making delicious recipes in your slow cooker or your pressure cooker.
  • For more ways to cut back on your salt intake, visit: American Heart Association new sodium recommendations.