Like nine out of 10 Americans, your relationship with sodium could probably use some couples therapy. On average, Americans are getting more than 3,400 mg of sodium a day — more than double the 1,500 mg recommended by the American Heart Association for ideal heart health.
It gets worse. A national survey revealed that on average, males 12 to 59 eat more than 4,200 mg of sodium a day, and the daily average for men in their 30s is more than 4,500 mg! And did you know that calories and sodium are related? The more calories you eat, the more sodium you tend to eat.
Those of you who never use the salt shaker might be wondering how this can be. Well folks, we can’t place too much blame the salt shaker for our sorry state of sodium intake. More than 75% of the sodium that Americans eat comes from packaged and restaurant foods, so it’s already added to our food before we buy it. Only about 12% of the sodium we eat comes from what we add with the salt shaker when cooking or sitting down to eat. Any meaningful strategy to reduce sodium intake at the population level must involve the efforts of food manufacturers, food processors, and restaurant industries.
Check out the American Heart Association’s infographic to learn more, and make sure you read my next blog post to find out why too much sodium is such a heartbreaker.
Don’t be one of the 9 in 10 Americans who are overdosing on sodium. Take the pledge to reduce the sodium you eat now! We’ll help you slash excess salt and start a healthier relationship with food.