What's So Bad About Too Much Salt?

September 23, 2014 3:37 PM

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Americans love salt -- the primary source of sodium in our diet. A new research study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that we consume an average of 3.6 grams (g) of sodium a day -- 80 percent more than the 2.0 grams recommended by the World Health Organization. (The "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," 2010 recommends a daily limit of 2.3 grams) The problem is that high sodium intake appears to be one of the main contributors to hypertension, or high blood pressure, the top risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide, followed by cigarette smoking. Globally, CVD kills more men and women than any other cause.

The study indicates that despite vast scientific evidence, the critical need to reduce our daily salt intake has been ignored around the world. Researchers, who analyzed data from 187 countries, reported that more than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths per year (including nearly 58,000 in th...

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