"One teaspoon of salt has greater than 2,000 mg of sodium, which is an eye-opening visual reminder of how that amount of salt is more than enough for one's daily intake," Friedman said. "A 'food prescription' from doctors and nutritionists for more spices and herbs; less salt and cured processed foods; [and] with a push for more plant-based and fresh choices will help stem this salty tide."
Another expert agreed, and pointed to another likely cause.
"Americans are still eating too much salt," said registered dietitian Dana Angelo White, clinical assistant professor of athletic training and sports medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.
"The culprit? People in this country are still eating too many meals away from home," she said. "The majority of sodium that folks take in is not from the salt shaker at the table or from what is used to season food while cooking in a home kitchen, it's from restaurant, take-out and highly processed convenience foods. There is nothing wrong with resorting to these types of food from time to time, but when they are part of your daily routine, it adds up to a heaping pile of salt."
The study findings were based on an analysis of 247 surveys of adult sodium intake conducted as part of the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study. The report was scheduled for presentation in New Orleans on Thursday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting on Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.
Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute outlines how to reduce sodium in your diet.
-- Robert Preidt
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