The average U.S. adult eats about 1.5 teaspoons of salt a day, more than twice the recommended amount, a U.S. professor of clinical nutrition says.
Dr. Jo Ann Carson of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says federal regulators have begun urging food manufacturers to cut back on the amount of sodium they add to everything from breakfast cereals to soups.
The aim is for manufacturers to reduce the amount so gradually consumers would barely notice the lower sodium levels, but the final limits have not yet been determined.
“Lowering our salt intake is important to control blood pressure,” Carson says in a statement. African-Americans, the elderly and those with diabetes are recommended to lower their salt intake because they are most often salt sensitive.
For the some 50 million Americans with high blood pressure, research finds the lower the sodium, the lower the blood pressure.
To lower salt intake: Eat fewer processed foods such as frozen dinners, packaged mixes and canned soups; replace salt with herbs, spices, lemon, lime, garlic and vinegar; replace salty snacks with unsalted pretzels or nuts mixed with raisins, graham crackers, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, plain popcorn and raw vegetables; and buy unsalted or low-salt varieties of foods and condiments.