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Heart Attack to Go!

Heart Attack to Go!

Hi, my name is Sandy.

Hi Sandy.

I’m here because…OK, I may go a little heavy on the saltshaker.

Congrats on admitting it, but here's some refreshing news for you: recent research has shown that the big problem with too much sodium intake comes from eating prepared or processed foods that contain salt. In fact, this type of salty stuff accounts for 77% of the sodium digested in an average American's diet.

It turns out that only about 11% of the sodium in the average U.S. diet comes from adding salt or other sodium-containing condiments to food. Regardless of the way you’re getting it, you may want to cut back a bit. Doctors have found a diet too high in salt is a risk factor for high blood pressure.

The recommended amount of sodium is between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (about one teaspoon) a day for adults, according to NutritionData’s chief nutritionist, Monica Reinagel. Divide that among three meals and that is only 800 milligrams of sodium per meal. But calculate the amount of sodium in one teaspoon of table salt and you will find it has 2,325 milligrams of sodium – enough for an entire day's worth of recommended intake.

Watch out for these foods with massive amounts of hidden salt:

* soups
* soy sauce
* processed meats (ham, hot-dogs, deli meat)
* low-fat foods (hot dogs, chips) may be much higher in sodium than the regular options

What other foods were you surprised to find out are full of sodium? [Nutrition Data]

Posted: 6/4/08