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Most Americans Get Too Much Salt
Date:6/24/2010

cess of daily sodium intake measured in hundreds and hundreds of milligrams, and an annual excess of deaths from heart disease and stroke exceeding 100,000."

"As indicated in a recent IOM [Institute of Medicine] report, the best solution to this problem is to dial down the sodium levels in processed foods," Katz added. "Taste buds acclimate very readily. If sodium levels slowly come down, we will simply learn to prefer less salty food. That process, in the other direction, has contributed to our current problem. We can reverse-engineer the prevailing preference for excessive salt."

The report is published in the June 25 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

For about 70 percent of adults, salt intake should be limited to 1,500 milligrams (mg) a day, but only 5.5 percent of these adults meet that level, according to the report.

For others, the recommended amount of daily salt intake is less than 2,300 mg a day, according to the report.

Reducing your salt intake is not only important for people with high blood pressure, Kuklina said. It's good for everybody, "even if you don't have hypertension," she said.

There are some things people can do to reduce their salt intake, Kuklina said. You can eat fewer processed foods and focus on fresh and frozen foods. You also can read the product labels to see how much salt is in the food and opt for low-sodium foods, she said.

Also, Kuklina advises rinsing canned vegetables and beans in water to remove salt.

The data for the report was collected from 3,922 individuals who took part in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, commented that "nearly 80 percent of our sodium intake comes from processed, restaurant, frozen and prepared foods."

Research suggests that reducing sodium intake to 2,300 mg/day for healthy folks and to 1,500 mg/day for people wit
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