Everyone seems to be concerned about fat and sugar these days, but you don't hear much about sodium. And it's likely processed food manufacturers want to keep it that way, because most of their products contain staggering amounts of the stuff.
In fact, the overwhelming majority of the food on supermarket shelves contains more sodium than is good for us, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To get an idea of just how much salt is in a typical ready-made meal or bag of chips, researchers studied thousands of products from grocery stores across the country.
And the results were astounding. More than 70 percent of the pizzas, pasta dishes and meat dishes and 50 to 70 percent of cold cuts, soups and sandwiches went over the limit of what the FDA considers "healthy" sodium levels.
Why should you care? High sodium intake can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which is often associated with stroke and cardiovascular disease.
More than 90 percent of Americans are eating more salt than they should, according to the CDC.
The USDA recommends that the average adult consume no more than 2,3000 mg of sodium a day. That's the equivalent of a single teaspoon of table salt. For adults over 51, the recommended amount drops to 1,500 mg.
One easy way to cut down on your sodium is by avoiding processed foods. Paying careful attention to nutrition labels, and shopping Thrive Market's collection of low-sodium foods, can also help you kick unnecessary salt to the curb.
Photo credit: I-5 Design and Manufacture via Flickr