We all have a relationship with salt, but it’s not all bad news. We need at least a little each day to stay healthy, but most of us get an average of 3,400 mg sodium a day – way more than we need. That’s much more than the American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend.
Salt can be a major heartbreaker. The American Heart Association surveyed 1,000 adults and found that:
- One-third couldn’t estimate how much sodium they ate, and another 54 percent thought they were eating less than 2,000 mg sodium a day. In total, 97 percent either could not estimate or underestimated how much sodium they were eating.
- 80-plus percent knew that eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, but only about half knew it affects your risk of heart disease, and less than half knew that it’s a risk factor for stroke.
- Two-thirds of people knew that cold cuts and soups are top sodium sources, but much fewer knew that breads/rolls and poultry are also their partners in crime.
The survey also found that while almost 60 percent said they’ve tried to cut back on sodium, most said they’re using less salt at the table and when cooking. But only about 12 percent or less of sodium comes from salting foods. Comparing nutrition labels of packaged and processed food items and choosing lower-sodium options is key.
Will you join the movement to help us build healthier, less salty lives, free of heart disease and stroke? Take the pledge and we’ll send you healthy living resources to help you take control of your heart health.