Some health topics are so complicated it would take days to truly understand them. Fortunately for us (and for you!), sodium is not such a topic.
Our CEO, Nancy Brown, may have explained it best in her recent Huffington Post column -Sodium: The Sneaky Source of a Silent Killer.
In that post, she stated:
“The more salt in your diet, the more problems for your body. The science behind this could fill a library. The dangers of ignoring it could fill a morgue.
Chilling as that sounds, we know that too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, and we know that high blood pressure is a primary cause of heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the world. ”
– Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association
Let that sink in.
We’ve shared with you before the robust body of scientific research that compels us to advocate for lower sodium levels. Eating too much sodium is a major public health problem, because it can lead to elevated blood pressure and its consequences on your health.
Public health recommendations for how much sodium you should eat are made after looking at all of the science, including studies with conflicting results. We know that many well-respected scientific and professional health organizations have sodium recommendations that are at least 1,000 mg/day lower than the average American sodium intake of 3,478 mg/day. Take a look at the AHA recommended daily sodium intake for ideal cardiovascular health.
While debate is healthy and welcomed (it's part of the scientific method!), we are concerned that some are trying to use that debate to halt the progress you've helped make possible in lowering sodium in foods and improving health outcomes. We should work from the very best knowledge we have, and in the case of sodium, that points to reducing the amount Americans eat.
We’ve shared with you before the robust body of scientific research that compels us to advocate for lower sodium levels.
Let’s look at the latest information about the clear science behind sodium reduction:
Former president of the American Heart Association Dr. Mark Creager came out with a video explaining that the science is clear on sodium reduction. And, he pointed out that you can do something about it by joining the movement and pledging to reduce sodium.
On July 21, 2016, a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association has identified sensitivity to salt as an emerging cardiovascular risk factor.
Still not sure about sodium recommendations?
A few months ago we published Debunking myths about sodium science, that discusses the 30 nutrition scientists and long list of organizations that back the recommendation for sodium reduction. Or, you can simply read the American Heart Association’s diet and lifestyle recommendations on sodium for more information!
The studies are clear and the outcomes are so important for the lives of Americans: it’s time for people to eat less sodium. Lowering sodium levels in the food supply could eliminate about 1.5 million cases of uncontrolled hypertension and save billions of dollars in healthcare costs over the next decade.
Keeping sodium in check is just one part of the overall heart-healthy eating pattern the American Heart Association recommends. Learn more about how to eat healthy to keep your sodium in check and your body healthy.