Sneaky Sodium: Check your foods for hidden salt

Face it… Americans love salt and eat plenty of it. Most of us consume too much salt – on average 9–12 grams per day, or around twice the recommended maximum level of intake. This can cause serious heart problems.

“Excess sodium is linked to adverse health outcomes including increased blood pressure,” cardiology expert Dr. Guilherme V. Silva, assistant professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “That spells problems for people with heart failure.”

Doctors encourage people with heart failure to reduce the amount of salt in their diet, but that may be easier said than done. Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat and shellfish and others you might not suspect.

sodium

Further, not all sodium comes in the form of salt. Many preservatives contain sodium, so check the labels on the food you buy even if they don’t taste salty. And remember, not all sodium comes from food.

Don’t forget to count:

  • Baking soda or toothpaste with baking soda
  • Salt water rinses
  • Antacids (unless they are marked “low sodium.”)

Additional Resources

Want a heart-healthy diet? Incorporate these five foods.

Get more tips for a healthy heart.

Chest pains: Heart burn or heat attack?

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