Too Much Salt—April 21, 2010

Too much salt is hidden in Americans' food, and regulators plan to work with manufacturers to cut back — but what exactly does too much salt mean? Heidi Skolnick, nutritionist at the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.

“The current recommendation is about a teaspoon of salt for an entire day – 2,300 milligrams of sodium,” said Skolnick. “The new recommendation from the Institute of Medicine is to cut that to 1,500 milligrams. Most people take in about 3,400 milligrams. Here’s the issue: high sodium increases your risk for hypertension.”

People ingest most of their salt not straight from the shaker but rather, hidden in food they eat every day, according to Skolnick.

“Take a double burger. That is 1,300 – 1,400 milligrams of salt. It’s not surprising that fast food has a lot of sodium. But cornflakes, which you would think is normally healthy: that actually has over 200 milligrams of sodium. Tomato juice has 677 mg of sodium. A bagel has 600 mg of sodium.”


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