Just 1 Less Teaspoon of Salt Could Save Your Life

02/12/2013

Photo Credit: Gaye LevyAre you a huge salt lover? Do you always order pizza, soup or that delicious cold cut sandwich off the menu when you see it? Well then listen up: Reducing less than one teaspoon of salt from your diet daily could save your life and thousands of other’s, too.

A recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, found that reducing less than a teaspoon of salt from one’s diet each day could save between 280,000 and 500,000 lives in the U.S. by reducing the risk of heart disease.

Changes being made

Currently New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is being saluted for his work in trying to change the way New Yorkers consume food, and what he’s doing is working. Apparently Bloomberg’s work on reducing soda consumption isn’t his only plan of attack.

Bloomberg is also speaking out and encouraging people to think about the health risks of high salt foods, praising the 30 different companies that have agreed to reduce the salt content in their products.

New York State is also one of states affected by new, stricter school lunch and snack policies that have begun since Michelle Obama started her Let’s Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity.

It just ain’t healthy

Americans love excess. This we know. So one of the most major issues with studies like these is how to actually implement healthy eating changes.

For example, studies indicate that Americans consume roughly 3,600 milligrams of salt each day. The government recommendation for salt intake is only 2,300 milligrams and even that’s high compared the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 1,500 milligrams daily.

And most of that isnt' from the salt shaker -- our sodium intake primarily comes from processed foods and restaurant meals.

But the good news is you can actually change your taste preference. So, say you start cutting sodium out of your diet by cooking with a greater variety of herbs and spices, you could find that over time, super salty foods don't appeal to you. The vast majority of the salt that Americans are conusming is table salt -- namely that in processed foods. So, if you're not a huge chef, try eliminating processed foods and if you're really looking for a challenge -- go raw! It's worth a try if it means a longer and healthier life.

So next time you hear “a pinch of salt?” Say “no, thank you!” And help extend your life that much longer.

By: Jennifer Wolfe

For More on Healthy Eating:

10 Ways to Eat Healthier

Do I need to eat less salt?

Eating Smart


The Discovery Fit and Health team brings you the latest (and most interesting) health news as well as exclusive interviews, video clips, and other juicy tidbits from your favorite shows.
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