CDC: Americans eat to much salt

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 10:41pm

The Centers for Disease Control said today that 9-out-of-10 Americans eats too much salt.

In some cases, Americans eat twice as much as the recommended daily amount, and that can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure, often called the silent killer, because it puts people at risk for life-threatening diseases. But the real surprise in today's warning, is where the salt is.

Don Cuff's, 57 changed his life around after suffering a heart attack 5 years ago that nearly killed him. Cuff dropped weight, stopped smoking and dramatically cut the salt.

800,000 people die each year from diseases related to high blood pressure.

"Elevated blood pressure can create problems with heart disease, diabetes, stroke and kidney disease," said Dr. Jacques Carter with Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control said
on average, Americans consume 3,300mgs of salt or sodium each day. That is twice what is recommended for anyone at risk, those over the age of 51 and all African Americans.

The CDC says 44 percent of the sodium we eat comes from only ten types of food. Those foods are: breads and rolls;cold cuts, deli and packaged meats; pizzas; poultry; soups; sandwiches, including cheeseburgers; cheese; pasta dishes; meat loaf-type dishes; chips, pretzels and popcorn.

"We're eating more food that's made by others in restaurants or prepared food in grocery stores, and when other people make food for us, they put a lot more salt in it," said Director of the CDC Dr. Thomas Frieden.

Some high sodium foods may surprise you. A diet soda has 20-40mgs of sodium, but a glass of tomato juice could have 16-times that amount at 650mgs!

A bag of chips may have 200mgs of salt, but
pre-packaged lunch meats can have 1,000mgs. And at 460mgs, a single slice of American cheese can be higher in sodium than an entire garden salad with ranch dressing!

More fruits and veggies and home-cooked meals are the solution, says the CDC. Cutting salt by a third could save 81,000 lives a year.

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