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Sharon Basaraba

Hold the Salt, Please

By January 9, 2013

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ALT TEXTCan you eat less salt? Sharon Basaraba

This week the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launched its three-week campaign to get citizens to wean themselves of their salt habit.  Called the Sodium Swap Challenge, the program urges people to eat less salt and sodium, to improve their health and lower their chances of salt-related problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

National guidelines in the United States and Canada recommend consuming no more than 2.4 g (2,400 mg) of sodium each day -- though most North Americans eat about twice that daily.  Diets with less than 1.5 g daily bring even better blood pressure-lowering effects, according to the US National Institutes of Health.  Table salt is only one source of daily sodium, with highly-processed foods like sauces, bakery items and deli meat containing much more as a hidden ingredient.

The public health campaign challenges people to lower their intake of different foods for each of the program's three weeks, beginning with eating less prepared and cured meats, bread and other baked goods containing salt.  It promises that after just three weeks, your palate will adjust and you will no longer miss that added sodium.

Learn more on the American Heart Association's Sodium Swap Facebook Page.  For advice on lowering sodium, visit the National Institute's of Health website.

Sources:

Reduce Salt and Sodium in Your Diet.  NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Public Information Sheet.  Accessed January 9, 2013.
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/prevent/sodium/sodium.htm

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