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Dietary Guidelines on Sodium

Could You Limit Your Salt Intake to Less Than a Teaspoon?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are getting a rewrite next month, and the guiding committee is deciding how to revise its recommendations as we speak, including the amount of sodium we should be ingesting. And it seems that they think we are still not getting the picture about the amount of salt we are overloading our food with.

Although the current guidelines state that we should be consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt), the average American consumes over 1,000 mg more than that. But the committee's proposed recommendation would change the max to 1,500 mg a day. That 800-mg difference means a teaspoon less of soy sauce (921 mg) with your sushi, or a sandwich without a pickle (833 mg) or two fewer slices of ham (810 mg) than the current guidelines suggest.

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, so cutting your sodium intake is always a good idea. If you find that you are consuming too much — and watch out for prepared foods that aren't as apparently loaded with salt, like cornflakes (300 mg per cup), jar sauces (1,030 mg per cup of marinara), and canned vegetables (330 mg in canned beets and 400 mg in canned peas) — try these 7 tips for reducing your sodium intake.

Source: Flickr User _nickd

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