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A few grains of truth about salt

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Most of us are flunking out when it comes to Salt 101.

When 1,000 adults were asked what they know about salt and sodium, 97 percent didn’t know or underestimated how much sodium they were getting.

The truth is unshakeable: Most of get way too much sodium. This new infographic spells it out for us. On average, Americans get more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily — more than twice the amount the American Heart Association recommends for ideal heart health. You can also see that 77 percent of the sodium we’re eating is already added to processed and restaurant foods before we buy them, which can make it hard to stay within the recommended limits.

75 percent of Americans want less sodium infographic

Why should you pay attention to salt?

Too much sodium causes your body to retain water, putting an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. This can lead to high blood pressure, which makes you more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. The health impact isn’t the only reason that yours truly has her eye out for excess salt. I enjoy experiencing the natural flavor of foods, and those are lost when too much salt is added.

The good news is that most of us want to establish some boundaries with this heart-breaker. Three-quarters of Americans want less sodium in processed and restaurant foods. More than half of us have tried to cut back on sodium and think that the government should play a role in reducing sodium in foods.

We’re still learning our lessons when it comes to salt. That’s because 21 percent incorrectly believe that there are already limits on how much sodium can be added to processed foods, while 15 percent incorrectly believe there are already limits for restaurant foods.

Are you part of the 75 percent of Americans who want less sodium in the food you buy?

The first step to join our movement to remedy America’s love affair with salt and create a healthier relationship is to pledge to reduce the sodium you eat. Once you’ve done that, check out the Sodium 411 to learn more about sodium and your health and how to reduce the salt in your diet. Then, stay tuned for more about how you can help.