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June 25th, 2010
02:01 PM ET

Study: Americans eat too much salt

Nine out of 10 Americans eat too much salt every day, and many of them get more than twice the recommended daily amount, according to a new report from the CDC.

Researchers surveyed nearly 5,000 U.S. adults and found that they consumed a daily average of almost 3,500 milligrams of sodium. Current dietary guidelines say that Americans should get less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day.  However a government advisory panel recently urged officials to decrease the recommended daily sodium limit to 1,500 milligrams for all Americans.  Even people who steer clear of salty foods may not be avoiding excessive sodium. The report notes that many foods with a high sodium count, like breads, cookies and crackers, may not taste salty.

“Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it’s difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits,” according to a statement by Janelle Peralez Gunn, lead author of the report.

Eating a lot of sodium increases blood pressure, which increases the risk for stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and renal disease, according to the CDC. Current guidelines advise people already at high risk for these diseases to keep their sodium levels below the 1,500-milligram mark.

In the report, researchers note that almost two-thirds of the sodium in a typical American diet comes from processed grains, like pizza and cookies, and meats, like poultry and lunch meat. They also estimate that 77 percent of daily sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods.


soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Justin

    Soo.. at this point it's pretty much impossible to avoid ridiculously high levels of sodium unless we cook and prepare all of our meals from scratch, down to totally organic natural ingredients.

    Well, I'm screwed. I'm far too lazy to go to those great lengths to eat healthily. Not to mention, buying everything organic is very expensive.

    June 25, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aaron

      Yes buying organic is more expensive. But it is worth it. Food is your bodies fuel, it keeps you running. What could be more important than what you put in your body for fuel? Not to mention it taste so much better. I mean organic ketchup is one of the best things i've ever had, its way better than the regular corn sryup made crap. So go on and keep eating your processed chicken nuggets. McDonald's appreciate your business.

      June 25, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      While organic food can be pricey, I consider it cheaper than the treatment of whatever conditions might result from the pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are on a lot of our food. I have an advantage, though–my dad has a large garden where he grows organic fruits and vegetables. If it weren't for that, I'd never be able to afford organic food on a regular basis.

      On subject with the article, though, I've tried to reduce my salt intake, and it is ridiculously difficult to do so. You really do have to cook almost everything you eat from scratch, using fresh ingredients and passing on pre-packaged mixes or seasonings. Not many people in this time and place have the luxury of being able to craft their own meals three times a day, day after day.

      June 25, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
    • whatnext

      Aaron, he said nothing about McDonald's or chicken nuggets. Your's is the mentality that anything organic is better than anything that isn't. If organic bottled water were offered, you'd buy it. We like Annie's pasta and cheese. Without noticing that the box quietly says organic pasta, people like you pay 50% more for the version that's packaged as ORGANIC. They appreciate your business.

      June 25, 2010 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
    • natdee

      To all the weirdos out there! Whenever you dine out at the restaurant do you think what you ate are from organic products? I bet not!! I'm pretty sure they just bought any thing they can find at the cheapest price to generate higher profit.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
    • MBurton

      Actually Justin, it is far less expensive to prepare your meals at home than purchase pre-made meals. If a single person (and I asume you are singel) were to eat out 7 days a week, it would cost at least $150 per week ($7 per meal time 3 meals per day) plus tax. For that same amount, you can purchase perfectly healthy foods and be in better health and save money. Just a thought....Work out the math and figure in gas money into it. You would be quite suprised.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • RT2024

      There are so many destructive paradigms at work in this whole health situation.

      I think a step in the right direction would be eliminating the government subsidies of junk food. The junk food lobbyists sure are a powerful bunch, and seem to have secured a lot of porkbarrel legislation in their favor. Instead, it would be great to see some sort of a sales tax that reflects the health of a food, with organic and fresh produce being taxed the least, and junk foods being taxed the most. Talk about flipping supermarkets on their heads.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kaylan

      Even the best of moms and dads get tired of cooking meals from homemade. I try very hard to make homemade meals for my family all the time but there are just days you can't due to lack of time or energy. But I do think buying organic IS possible if you omit the other junk we buy at the store (like donuts, frozen meals, all sorts of snack foods). After seeing how much sodium is in fast food, it makes me think twice about getting it. If I do, I have the kids split meals so they get less of the bad stuff.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • Kaylan

      Not to mention the article about pesticides on veggies and fruits. They said one product can contain up to 66 different chemicals on it and most can't come off by washing (even power washing, which they did for the study). The pesticides get into the foods through the roots and effect the entire product. So if you can buy organic, you should. I was told to at most, get these foods organic: potatoes (since they absorb pesticides a lot), strawberries and blueberries, peanut butter and peanut butter products. Apples also can have very high pesticide content but I've noticed more stores carry organic apples now. I love buying canned fruit for an easy dinner treat but I have not yet seen organic fruit in a can?

      June 25, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • BigBoyBC

      Penn & Teller did a whole program about "Organic" and showed that "Organic" is mostly marketing and that there is NO proof that "Organic" foods are better than non-organic foods, including the whole "Pesticides" argument is also BS.

      June 25, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • Clayton

      Not all food that you eat has to be organic. Organic food is not healthier by any means, but the way that the plants were grown is different. Some plants retain more pesticides than others and are recommended to buy organic instead. Yes, there is some on the outside but more vegetables/fruit absorb the pesticides into the flesh. If you do some research into the veggies/fruits that are recommened to be bought organic, then you can save yourself money (by not buying EVERYTHING organic) and improve your health (duh).

      If you're just too lazy to cook your own food and stop eating McDonalds, then that's all on you.

      Good luck! 😀

      June 26, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Had an idiot at work telling me not to drink lab grade RO water because it does not have enough sodium.
      I responded with I'd eat a bag of chips. I really wish he could handle the tasks he's given but no Dr KnowNothing just keeps babbling and drinking gallons of his favorite, Rude Blow energy drink. His brain might be a salt lick.....

      June 26, 2010 at 01:10 | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Just remember, nobody gets out of here alive. Everyone dies. Do you want to leave at 50 or 70 or 90? You do have some input or choice, albeit not anywhere near your total control. Salts, sugars, and stress (extreme stress) are the three "S" killers. Control them and you MAY max out on your genetic time clock.

      June 26, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • robert

      just because something is "organic" doesn't mean that its good for you. cow shit is organic, but i won't go eat it.

      June 26, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Limer

      It doesn't have to be organic. You should try and prepare all of your own food. It takes a couple of years to get used to if you've never done it. My wife bakes all of our bread, multi grain muffins etc etc. We cook from scratch for just about every meal. We always have leftovers, which we eat for lunches. It saves tons of cash and it's ton better for you. Just try to eat organic apples and root vegetables. The rest of the veggies you don't have to go with organic.

      June 26, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • Sojourner

      so you're too lazy to have a healthy diet.

      And we wonder why health care costs are through the roof!

      June 27, 2010 at 09:23 | Report abuse |
  2. Sss

    Two notes on this: first (this isn't mentioned in the article), the study is from 2005-2006.

    Second, organic fruits and vegetables do not contain more or less sodium than non-organic ones. Organic has to do with fertilizers, chemicals and farming practices.

    In order to limit sodium one must, obviously, make more home made dishes, and two, eat less food. Less food = fewer calories = less sodium.

    June 25, 2010 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Christopher

      Actually, no, you do not have to 'eat less'. The fact is that 98% of the sodium in our meals is added salt, which is UNNECESSARY. It adds very little to taste once you are used to eating meals where the flavor of the ingredients and other spices come out.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
    • Kaylan

      I think the conversation switched to organic because people were discussing homemade meals. Fast food and restaurant food is lavished in sodium. Even the bread! Those books on the market titled: Eat This. Not That show the sodium, fat and other bad stuff in fast food dishes. I highly recommend those books. You can buy them used for only a few bucks if you look around online.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
    • MM

      Actually, Christopher, 75% of the salt in our diets comes from sodium in processed food. If we simply eat less, particularly processed food, we'll get less sodium.

      June 25, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      85% of statistics are wrong and meaningless while 44.5% of you are legally retarded and cooking with organic ingredients to reduce sodium intake works everytime (50% of the time). Love ya.

      June 25, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • View

      Absolutely!

      Organic has nothing to do with level of salt. The whole article is about 90% eating too much salt. Where is organic in picture?
      Some people just jumped in or hijacked the discussion toward Organic.

      June 25, 2010 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
  3. Austin

    okay.... i dont see how anyone can avoid salt then. just go to the gym more and sweat it out i guess.

    June 25, 2010 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. James

    I *love* salt and have known that I imbibe too much. I'm only 23 but I have recently decided if I keep up my salt habits, I'll run into blood pressure problems later on and so I've substantially altered my diet. Instead of using salt to season my food, I use crushed red pepper, garlic powder or other spices to satisfy my desire for flavor. And this *does* work! I'm not pouring salt on my food anymore and I'm still enjoying it.

    June 25, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kaylan

      I think you can get used to no salt. It is just a matter of time. I once tried to be a nun (was a postulant for several months) and the Sisters in the monastery used no salt/spices on most of their foods. It was bland but after awhile, you loved the taste of the food itself. Most of the food was steamed and the flavor of the vegetables was delicious. I never liked cauliflower for example but after eating it with nothing on it for awhile, I loved it. Go figure.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
  5. J

    I love salt

    June 25, 2010 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • alan

      OMG me, too! It makes food taste so good. I LOOOVE putting salt on my bacon.

      June 25, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
  6. PseudoPsyko

    I admit that I'm a salt addict. I love saltines and tuna fish for lunch so I don't think that's helping. I tried cutting out sweets and carbs, but I don't think anybody will every concede to cutting out salt. It is so pervasive in our dishes that it's almost impossible to phase out.

    June 25, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. mb

    I don't even use a salt shaker ever! My parents turned me off many years ago just watching how much salt they pour on
    all their food, even before they taste it..it is a big turn off for me! Don't miss it, and it is in different foods anyway, we all get
    enough of it without adding more to our food. I now cannot stand the taste of salt! If you want to be really unhealthy then eat
    all the salt you want...

    June 25, 2010 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Thanh

    I run a restaurant, and we have some moderately salted dishes. They taste fine, but many of our customers douse the entire plate with soy sauce. It's pretty gross, but they love it.

    June 25, 2010 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Shawn

    I personally have low blood pressure to the point I was told to eat more salt even though I put salt on everything!!!! I love salt and would hate to have to give it up so when they said eat more I thought they were crazy but if it will raise my blood pressure then who am I to argue?!

    June 25, 2010 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martha

      Me three, Shawn. My doc said, "You're the first patient I have ever told to EAT MORE SALT."

      June 25, 2010 at 20:06 | Report abuse |
    • Bonni

      Well I'm definitely staying away from your doctor.

      June 25, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      There are actually a fair number of us who don't retain sodium very well. I was fainting when I got up quickly or sat still for too long. I was put through all sorts of testing – nothing other than somewhat low blood pressure and low blood sodium content was found.

      The cardiologist I was sent to said that I could take a prescription medicine to help me retain sodium, but that I'd then need to really up my potassium consumption, as it caused potassium deficiency if you didn't.

      Or I could just eat a lot more salt – as in, 5,000 mg of sodium a day. Waaaay cheaper and easier.

      So that's what I do, and I've been better ever since. When I have blood samples analyzed, my sodium levels are right where they're supposed to be. My cardiologist said that this shows up in young, health-conscious women precisely because they're eating significantly less than the recommended maximum amount of sodium. She said that the recommended limit is my daily minimum 🙂

      If I ate only 1,500 mg of sodium a day, I'd probably not be able to move. Everyone needs some sodium, and most people don't need as much as they usually eat. But some of us need a lot. Everyone is different.

      June 26, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
  10. Trey

    I have been trying to eat better, and excersise. One thing about the diet is that if you eat anything prepared it has loads of salt. Even the healthy prepared foods have lots of salt. I would love to cook every meal if I had the time but, I wish they would use some salt alternatives, however this would cut into the profits as they are more expensive and people love salt.

    I wish there was a way around having to cook every meal, and I don't, because I don't have time. When we are getting 60% of our daily allowance of sodium in one meal that is a little ridiculous.

    June 25, 2010 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. db1948

    who cares. What I eat is none of your business!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Nick B

    Lets make it 0mg! That way liars^W statisticians can say that 100% of people are getting too much salt!
    No no no, lets make it -1500mg! Even better!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Charles in Atlanta

    Recently I kept a log for 30 days of everything I ate and drank and used the USDA Nutrient Data web site to compile nutrient data. The greatest surprise was the total average sodium I consumed each day. My goal was less than 1,500 grams, but the actual amount was approximately 3,500 grams. I eat a lot of frozen vegetables and was surprised at the sodium content of things like broccoli, lima beans, cauliflower, carrots, etc.

    June 25, 2010 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dennis

    I feel a new "law" coming on.

    June 25, 2010 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cindy

      Yup-the government is going to tak away our salt!!!

      June 25, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
  15. Harry

    I am one of the people who are trying to voluntarily cut salt out from their diets before any health issues occur. This is really hard as lots of things contain large amounts of sodium that you wouldn't expect. I finally found a sodium free bread at my local Trader Joe's for instance for my lunches. For seasoning instead of using salt I typically grind up garlic cloves, rosemary, and dill in a mortar and use that instead. Tastes great! Also, DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!!!! And MORE WATER! Seriously, water flushes all that crud out of your system. Most Americans also don't drink enough water.

    June 25, 2010 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. cindy

    I like salt..........

    June 25, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Peter Live!

    Salt? SALT?

    SERIOUSLY.....

    The problem of sodium overload can be managed relatively simply without recourse to highly restrictive, avoid all process food diets. That would help, and might even be a solution if one's control is rigid and knowledge of the various sodium bombms in the American diet complete.

    In most cases neither control nor knowledge obtains....

    What WILL do some good – perhaps much good – and is easy is to get OFF YOUR DUFF and exercise!

    Yep, you read it HERE first, dietary sodium overload can be CURED by working out, which leads to sweating, which leads to sodium loss.

    Imagine that!

    June 25, 2010 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burbank

      Drinking lots of water helps too. It's probably part of the reason we get thirsty when we eat too much salt, our bodies are trying to get us to flush some of it out again.

      June 25, 2010 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    This article contains misinformation. "Eating a lot of sodium increases blood pressure, which increases the risk for stroke" is not true. Sodium can increase blood pressure in certain individuals but it does not increase blood pressure in all individuals. The CDC article clearly qualifies the warnings with "can"

    June 25, 2010 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burbank

      In some people it probably does the opposite since I can cause the blood to become thinner.

      June 25, 2010 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Uhh Wrong, take it from someone who has had a host of health issues and is on a salt restrictive diet. There are plenty of studies liking high sodium levels to health problems, try using google you may learn something

      June 25, 2010 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
  19. Burbank

    Since when is this news? It's been a well know fact for quite a while. Who paid for this inane study? I sure hope it wasn't the taxpayer!

    June 25, 2010 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. drcid777

    I don't believe I have ever seen a scientific study showing that salt is harmful to people that don't already have high blood pressure or heart problems (the majority of us). I'm not sure why this lack of proof is ignored by our health officials except that they say "Why not? People don't really need it". The truth seems to take a hit "for the public's good" I don't work for a salt company but have used a lot of salt for decades and my doctor told me in Feb my blood pressure and pulse were perfect. I wonder why? Less distortion, more truthfulness please

    June 25, 2010 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. djak

    I never realized how much my salt intake had increased until I went to the doctor about a month ago because I kept waking up every morning with swollen hands. The first thing he asked me about was my diet. Since my husband was deployed and all I had to do was fend for myself for meals, I ate a lot of TV dinners and microwavable meals. My doctor just looked at me and said "well duh! You're probably getting four times the amount of sodium than is good for you." And sure enough, I cut back on my sodium and within weeks my hands stopped swelling up.

    June 25, 2010 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Tom

    Well by golly, I think Obamer and his liberal whackos should impose a salt tax. Another nifty way to raise revenue so they can keep spending.

    June 25, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • almxx

      I don't think they should impose any restrictions on food companies, because food mfrs. are so very interested in the good health of their customers. It's all self regulating....for the highest profit margin.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
  23. Andrew

    Ever individuals health, DNA, bio-chemistry is different. Applying studies to the world population is hard a sell. Sure , we should be eating more organic and less processed food. Your body needs salt and sugar to some degree. Just like we need water to stay hydrated and drink milk for calcium. Health insurance companies should add incentives to their plans so people would be more willing to be healthier. Better in shape and healthy, less the insurance industry pays out. So if you can prove your doing well, why not get a cut in your health insurance costs. I know many people will argue that's unfair to those with uncontrollable health issues.. cancer..etc Just look at it this way, if the majority of people are well, than the remaining can benefit from the extra funds to cover such extreme issues.. I know the insurance companies wouldn't like that either, but at some point how much profit does the industry truly need to operate.

    June 25, 2010 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • almxx

      Milk is one of the worst sources of calcium. Highest milk consuming countries have the most osteoporosis. Get your calcium from leafy greens, like nature intended. Get boron for your bones from fruit.

      June 25, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • Clark1b

      why wouldn't the insurance industry like this method .... that is the way they structure automobile insurance.
      it is the politicians and the people that don't want health care insurance structured like automobile insurance because then those that don't want to live healthily can pay the same premiums as those of us that do ....

      June 25, 2010 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
  24. Steven P

    I'm an ex-chef. The best thing to do is not eat out. The amount of fat and salt in restaurant meals – even the really really good restaurants – is ridiculously high. Eat at home, don't use salt at the table, and seriously consider reducing the salt in any recipe you follow by 50%.

    June 25, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Low-Fat = High Sodium

    Its not about going organic, thats to me, is just a trendy food-fad. It's really about watching what you eat on a mathematical level.

    I had what I call a 'crisis of food' recently, I had these awful headaches in the morning, felt sluggish and so on, I went to the doctor – high blood pressure. I was alarmed enough to drastically cut salt down and started to walk more, I'm healthier, lost pounds and feel great, there was a difference.

    I realized first hand several things – If you review the dietary information in the back of many if not ALL supermarket items, you'll be appalled at how much salt/sodium there is in everything. From orange juices to cereal and so on. There are options with no salt or low sodium in some canned goods that are not priced as high as some say, that's a myth.

    And there's a sodium trade off if you're watching fat calories, "low fat" items contain MORE sodium to make up for taste from the lowering of fat in processed foods.

    The other thing I realized is if you actually watch salt and or sodium intake, you WILL lose weight in a healthy way. But you need to exercise of course. AND just exercising alone is NOT a sensible solution. You have to cut sodium.

    Think about this, knowing (or not knowing) that a fast food meal is about 3,000 to maybe even 5,000 milligrams when your body can only handle a set amount, is like suicide.

    Here's a typical USA social example – during the course of a day you start off with salt heavy breakfast, even if its cereal and milk, check the box labels and start counting. Then you're having such foods that are extremely high like that in sodium, like cheap Chinese food, taco's, food truck food, "healthy low fat" sandwiches or chicken bowls and so on for LUNCH everyday...then you're packing in more stress relieving high sodium food afterwork... my god, do you see where your daily numbers are gone?! And don't get me started on the weekend food sodium intake!

    The rule I think, but you should verify this on you own so you become more aware of this serious health issue, is that under the age of 40 you should limit sodium milligram intake to about 2,400, over 40 years of age, you need to cut that down to 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

    You literally have to on a daily basis THINK about how much sodium you're exposed to, its not easy, you have to really give up a lot of what you're used to. If you don't want to follow a low-sodium diet, well, that's your responsibility. Like smokers, you know, they say 'well, we're gonna die of somethin' and continue to puff. Fine, I'm not like that. Sodium is a poison as far as I'm concerned that should be used very lightly, milligrams counted like your life depends on it.

    June 25, 2010 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • marcosz

      Funny to think of organic food as a "trendy food-fad". Every mouthful of food in human history has been organic until the "trendy food-fad" of chemical industrial agriculture appeared in recent years. We're now seeing the end of that era as people awaken to how destructive it has been to our health, and the planet's.

      Yes, organic food is now more expensive... Do you want cheap toxic food, or more expensive *real* food? The price difference will diminish as people buy more orgo and less "conventional".

      Every time i buy organic food, i'm voting with my dollars against a bankrupt system of industrial agriculture.
      When mainstream food companies, say Dole, start marketing organic, i can see that my buying choices do have political power.

      June 25, 2010 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
  26. almxx

    I will limit my intake to 1500 milligrams, which is how many shakes? They didn't mention how salt injures your arteries.

    June 25, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Bob S

    I HAVE to add salt to certain foods, namely corn, sliced tomatoes and eggs. I can't stand the taste without them. But those are the only foods I ever add salt too, and I eat a lot of veggies and non processed food, with very little bread. I'm a 55 year old male, the last time I took my blood pressure it was 106/72, so I guess I'm allright.

    I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes. 🙂

    June 25, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Leonard

    With this new study....It's best to buy stock in High-Blood Pressure medicine....and salt shakers too.

    June 25, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Silas Scarborough

    Nine out of ten Americans eat too much ... period.

    June 25, 2010 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. colowest

    I didn't read every word of every comment but I didn't see the fact that salt (sodium chloride) isn't the only source of sodium in food. Many foods contain other sodium compounds, and especially baked good and baking mixes, even home-baked foods with NO salt but with baking soda or baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate. Read the labels!!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bibb

    The REAL problem is, salt is PROMOTED by some very large companies you all know.

    Soft drinks are in higher demand if you eat MORE SALT. *.cola.com need to make money any way they can.

    June 25, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Clark1b

    eating too much salt isn't bad in and of itself. if it causes problems such as high blood pressure then the individual needs to choose between eating less salt or having high blood pressure and all the health problems that come along with high blood pressure. but if a person doesn't have high blood pressure and likes salt ... then who cares?

    June 25, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Salty

    Hey can you pass the Salt?

    June 25, 2010 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. jon

    Next week's "breaking news", 9 out of 10 people eat too much sugar. Yea, this is breaking news.

    June 25, 2010 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Art

    I grew up 'saltless'. Salt was added for only certatin types of cooking. Salt shakers were not always on the table and if asked for needed to be obtained from the kitchen. We did however, use a lot perseved foods. These were perserved in the matter generally used before even ice boxes. Of all strange things for you to think about, My MD advises, as a result of blood tests, I should use MORE salt with my meals. Boy does that stuff taste funny!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Delicio

    I am now on dialysis because of a med I have taken for 10 years. Reality smacks you in the face regarding your intake of sodium, potassium and phosphorous and not one item in fast food is acceptable on this diet. Although it may not be for all individuals I will say that preparing your own foods is quite challenging but very rewarding. Once used to a sodium free diet you will be repelled at how salty the the food you ate prior tastes. Additonally, although it takes more time to prepare, it financially is to your benefit.

    June 25, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Justin

    Bullsh*t. It's been proven repeatedly that we eat the same amount, if not less, salt than we did at any point in history more than 100 years ago. Enough about salt already.

    June 25, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. impervious

    you've gotta be getting me! american food is already bland as it is.

    June 25, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Josh

    Yep we need the gov to tell us how much salt we can eat. Go Obama.

    June 25, 2010 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mike

    You can use the salt shaker on everything (I know I do, even salting tortilla/potato chips, I like extra salt), but the fact remains that the bulk of the sodium comes in processed foods.

    June 25, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. jantje

    well, i dont eat ANY processed foods, NO fast foods, but when i slice up a organic cucumber, i need to drench it in salt before i can eat it.

    salt masks bitterness, and most foods taste very bitter to me. salt also balances out sweetness. i detest the taste of sugar, and north american foods are almost always "seasoned" with sugar.

    i told my doctor years ago that i will give up junk food (no problem) and fatty foods (can handle that) all meat products (that's more difficult) and even alcohol (OUCH!!!) but if i was told to give up salt, my only question would be "how long do i have left to live?" because i would choose to die before i gave up salt.

    June 25, 2010 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. JulieD

    This is such crap! There are a few people ( a very small percentage) that are hypersensitive to salt and therefore must avoid it, but for the majority of us, it's just not an issue. If you want to get fired up about something, how about the pervasiveness of sweeteners in our food? At least salt doesn't have calories!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Nicholas

    It is quite difficult to avoid salt when dining out. It is very rare to find a restaurant that will prepare a dish with unmarinated or unseasoned meat upon request. Most of the time, I'm stuck ordering a garden salad with oil and vinegar, and a plain baked potato. It would be nice if restaurants would stop adding salt to their dishes and leave it up to the patrons to add it themselves.

    June 25, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Pippan

    One important fact that has yet to be mentioned is that iodized salt (Morton Salt, etc) is an absolute necessity. One of the greatest ideas the U.S. government ever came up with is adding iodide (iodine) to salt as an extremely simple way to make sure everyone gets enough of it. This doesn't mean you should overdo it. But everyone needs to average between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt (must be iodized) daily. Google articles about iodized salt or read the Wiki article about it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodized_salt). And remember, almost all processed food (microwave meals, lunch meats, canned foods, etc) conain salt (sodium) that is NOT iodized. TIP: If you eat canned vegetables, you can just rinse them in a collander with cold water before you heat them up, thus removing all the (uniodized salt). Then just add however much iodized salt (Morton) you want afterward.

    June 25, 2010 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pippan

      P.S. Kosher Salt is NOT iodized. It's great to use from time to time, but do not allow it to completely replace iodized salt (Morton)! Whenever you're buying table salt, the package is required by law to state clearly on its label whether or not it contains iodide (iodine). The U.S. FDA recommends 150 micrograms of iodine per day for both men and women. That's roughly 1/3 of a teaspoon a day.

      June 25, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • Pippan

      Just to clarify, I mean that 1/3 of a teaspoon of iodized salt contains 150 micrograms of iodine. So the bottom line is: use a quarter to a half a teaspoon of Morton Salt a day. And cut out as much of the UNiodized salt as possible, which means cutting down on the amount of processed foods you eat. Or at least eating more low-salt or even no-salt processed foods. They're aren't many of them, but they're out there and they're about the same cost as the regular stuff.

      June 25, 2010 at 23:47 | Report abuse |
  45. Mohareb

    So it sounds like we all have a choice: Live a short and happy life full of tasty food, or live a long miserable life full of bland tasting food.

    June 25, 2010 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Brian

    Processed food is full of salt and high fructose corn syrup for several reasons. They are cheap fillers and salt extends shelf life of the product. Junk food manufacturers get rich selling these products and their lobbyists turn government regulators into lap dogs.

    June 25, 2010 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Miranda

    Salt gave us the world we have today. Do not, my friends, look our roots in the eye and ask it to get out of town. Take your heart disease like a man and cowboy up. We need to thank salt. Thank it profusely. Without it the South would have won and our dollar bills would look funny. Without it cheese would be a rotten mess and ice cream would be hard like a rock (okay, say if we were living 50 years ago). Without it our country would never have had the legs (fish legs) to grow on, and God knows our fries would be bland (curry aside).

    I'll start. Thank you Salt. May you live long and, when shit hits the fan and we all have to open up saltworks to feed the animals and man, prosper.

    June 26, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rusty

    When I found out that I have Celiac disease I had to become a die-hard label reader, learn new ways to cook by replacing common ingredients and adapt a mindset that easiest "fast food" for me is a salad, fruit or vegetables. There are very few restaurants in my area that have a gluten-free menu, and most of them that do make it clear that there is a high risk for cross-contamination. For over a year I've prepared about 95% of my meals and in the process became very aware of the salt content in most processed foods. I really paid attention when my doctor told me my blood pressure was too high despite my new, healthier diet. I know that happened because along the way I kept discovering more and more gluten-free packaged, convenient and restaurant food. Pippan's comment that we need iodized salt is exactly right. And, as he or she suggested, we need to be in control of our salt/sodium intake because it's practically force-fed to us almost every time we eat anything processed.

    June 26, 2010 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pippan

      Thanks, Rusty.

      June 29, 2010 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
  49. B

    And in other news, water is wet. Of course we eat too much salt...if you eat you eat too much salt. What a lot of people don't realize is that if you drink enough WATER you can counter balance excess salt. Drink up and most of us will be fine.

    June 26, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pippan

      Wrong. Lmao.

      June 26, 2010 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
  50. Rachel

    We eat alot of raw veggies, and canned veggies with no salt added. I cook from scratch, pasta and rice, and never add table salt, don't have any in the house, etc. We eat out, or order out one dinner a week, and one lunch. A few chips at lunch, sometimes a frozen dinner. We do ok. Lots of just plain water, no soda or coffee, and skim milk. That's all we can do at this point without going too much, and really, moderation is the key. Eating out constantly is what puts people at risk I think. We tried a KFC dinner with sides, but the veggies had so much salt, if we get it now, just the chicken, and I open a can of no salt green beans, much tastier, I can't stand salt anymore, it overtakes the flavor of food. Rachel Ray fans, beware.

    June 26, 2010 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pippan

      Rachel, don't forget how important it is to consume iodized salt and that almost all processed food uses non-iodized salt. You need about 150 micrograms of iodine a day and the way to get it is by using about 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt per day.

      June 26, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
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