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Salt shakerWhat You Should Know

Too much salt in the diet increases the risk for High blood pressure, a condition that affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans and that is considered the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vast majority of US adults consume more than double the recommended maximum of salt.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that one should limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. The recommendation for sodium is to limit intake of sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day which is the Upper Intake Level (UL) for individuals ages 14 years and older (set by the Institute of Medicine –IOM).

Training Videos for Food Service Professionals
Simple culinary strategies and techniques to reduce sodium in food service settings, from the Sodium Reduction Initiative of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)

What You Can Do to Limit Salt Intake

Most of the salt we consume comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants; therefore, CDC recommends some measures that can help lower the amount of salt intake:

  • Choose to purchase healthy options and talk with your grocer or favorite restaurant about stocking lower salt food choices
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label while shopping to find the lowest salt options of your favorite foods
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce
  • Limit processed foods high in salt
  • When eating out, request lower salt option

Sources of Salt in American Diet

Sources of Salt in American Diet - Chart

Sources: Mattes, R. and D. Donnelly, Relative contributions of dietary sodium sources. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1991. 10(4): p. 383-393.

Healthy Plate of FoodThe "Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension" Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol, commonly called the DASH eating plan, is a nationally recognized diet plan that is LOW in salt, saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat and that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. It also includes whole grain products, fish, poultry and nuts.

Studies have shown that people who followed this plan had a substantial reduction in their blood pressure within two weeks of starting the plan.

Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Adobe Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

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