Nine out of ten US adults exceed the daily recommended salt intake, and the main culprit is not potato chips or popcorn, but sliced bread and rolls, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced, local media report today (full Chinese-language article here) in a translation of a Reuters' report from yesterday (full English original article here).
The CDC said that 44% of salt consumed comes from 10 food types, with bread and rolls worst, followed by cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes and snacks including chips.
rolls lead the list followed by cold cuts and cured meat, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes and snacks such as pretzels and potato chips.
A single slice of white bread could contain as many as 230 milligrams of salt.
High salt intake can raise blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and strokes.
The average American consumes 3,266 milligrams of salt daily, not counting salt added at the table, which is far above the recommended 2,300 milligrams, the CDC said.
For six out of 10 Americans, including those who are over age 51 or have high blood pressure or diabetes, 1,500 milligrams is the recommended daily salt limit.
Even foods that seem healthy such as cottage cheese may be high in salt, the agency reported. Even raw chicken and pork is often injected with salt.
The CDC recommended eating more fruits and vegetables and carefully reading the labels on food products to find those with the lowest salt content.
One in three American adults has high blood pressure.
Most adults eat or drink about twice the amount of sodium as is recommended, and most of that extra sodium comes from common grocery store and restaurant items and a very small proportion from the salt shaker at the table..
Salt per calorie of food consumed was much higher at restaurants than from store-bought food, the CDC said.
"While progress is being made, reducing sodium in products without affecting the taste or consumer acceptance of products is no easy task," the Grocery Manufacturer's Association said in a statement emailed to Reuters.