The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Americans (and perhaps people everywhere) consume below 1,500 milligrams of salt per day, but the average American consumes 3,466 milligrams of salt per day – more than twice the recommended daily intake.
People everywhere tend to take too much salt – coming from table salt added to meals and processed foods bought from fast foods and supermarkets. Research points out that only 10% of our sodium intake comes from salt-shakers placed on dining tables, and nearly 77% comes from supermarkets and fast foods.
According to a study published in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC blames five foods for most of the salt intake Americans consume. These foods are –
- Yeast breads
- Chicken and mixed chicken dinners
- Pasta meals
- Cold cuts
Meanwhile, the CDC added that grain foods, poultry and fish meals, and canned vegetables with potato chips and French fries give Americans the most sodium intake above other food categories.
Now, excessive salt intake is bad for you and could lead to health problems with serious complications. People aged 50+, people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetics, and African Americans are especially warned to beware of excessive salt consumption since they are mostly at risk of health complications arising from too much salt.
Too much salt consumption raises the risks of developing stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases among others. With too much salt in the body, the body retains excess water to dilute the salt, causing too much water to be retained in body cells and volume of blood in the bloodstream.
This makes the heart to work more and the blood vessels are pressured to keep up with the work, causing blood vessels to burst with stroke resulting, and high blood pressure mounting sometimes. With too much salt in the body, the kidney, heart, bones and other internal organs suffer and experience damage which could cause fatal health complications or death in the long run.
High blood pressure is said to be the leading cause of preventable death in China, with over one million people dying annually from high blood pressure which could have resulted from excessive salt intake. Stomach cancer and osteoporosis can also result from too much salt consumption.
To better help yourself, ensure to –
- Eat less processed foods from restaurants, supermarkets, and fast food outlets
- Resist adding more salt to your meals from the salt-shaker
- Consume more vegetables
- Check out food labels to determine level of salt before purchase or consumption
- Rinse food a number of times to reduce the amount of salt in them