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HHS HealthBeat (February 21, 2012)

Oversalted America

An overflowing salt shaker.
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say 9 in 10 Americans eat too much sodium – notably in salt, and mostly from processed or restaurant food. Sodium raises blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease and other illnesses.

But if sodium is so common and we eat so much, what can we do? Well, we can check labels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says we get over 40 percent of our sodium from 10 kinds of food – including breads, luncheon meat, pizza, cheese, pasta, and snacks.

So let’s look at a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread – three of the top 10 right there. The CDC’s Dr. Mary Cogswell:

“Just making simple choices about the bread and cheese could save up to 400 milligrams of sodium in that bologna and cheese sandwich.”  (9 seconds)

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: February 21, 2012