We eat way too much salt — and you’ll never guess why

We eat way too much salt — and you’ll never guess why

A new study has found why we're consuming such a huge amount of sodium.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some insights on just why we consume large quantities of sodium.

High salt intakes have been blamed for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and the analysis, posted in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, indicates that 89 percent of adults were gobbling up way ore than the 2,300 milligrams of sodium that is recommended per day between the years of 2009 and 2012, according to a National Public Radio report.

Specifically, the study found that men between the ages of 19 and 51 consumed a whopping 4,400 milligrams per day, and women were eating about 3,100 milligrams perd day, with numbers slightly for those over 51. Kids were also eating too much sodium, with those 9 to 13 years old eating more than 3,000 milligrams per day.

But the study found that in most cases, we weren’t the culprits: it’s corporations. Most of the sodium being consumed comes from processed foods in restaurants and in the foods we buy. That’s what makes it so hard to simply lower the amount of sodium we take in, since in most cases we aren’t adding it ourselves.

Some food companies have been making an effort to reduce the amount of sodium in Americans’ diets. One effort, titled the National Sodium Reduction Initiative, involves companies making commitments to cut down on sodium content. However, experts say it’s not enough, as the changes need to apply to the whole industry.

There are things you can do on your own to reduce your exposre to sodium. Data from the Institute of Medicine found that foods like bread, deli meats, pizza, cheese, and pasta dishes tended to have the most sodium. Avoiding foods like that will help you reach your sodium goals.

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