Most Americans consume too much sodium, according to a recent FDA Consumer Update, and excess sodium contributes to high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. But it’s not really the salt shaker that people need to worry about.
“Approximately 75 percent of the total sodium intake for most individuals comes not from people adding salt to their food but from packaged and restaurant foods," said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, in a written statement.
The Consumer Update advises consumers to limit these foods, which are typically the highest sources of sodium:
• Breads and rolls;
• Luncheon meat, such as deli ham or turkey;
• Poultry, processed as well as fresh, which is often injected with a sodium solution;
• Cheeseburgers and many types of sandwiches;
• Cheese, natural and processed;
• Pasta dishes;
• Meat dishes, such as meatloaf with gravy; and
• Savory snacks such as chips, pretzels and popcorn.
On average, Americans consume about 3,300 milligrams of sodium every day. Dietary guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams daily. For those 51 and older, and people of any age who are African-American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, sodium intake should be capped at 1,500 milligrams daily.
—Anne Aurand, The Bulletin