For as much as we talk about sugar and consider it a health concern, it's surprising we don't give more attention to salt. Consuming too much salt has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and even stomach cancer. As if these weren't reasons enough to be wary, it turns out we're probably consuming more than our fair of salt, regardless of whether we make an effort to avoid it.
Even if you're not topping off your meal with extra dashes of salt, you could be consuming more than your healthy serving of sodium. A whopping 80% of the salt we take in comes from processed food. Salt is often used as a preservative, especially in canned foods, so even meals we deem healthy can be rampant in excess sodium. If you're not cooking at home, it's very likely you're consuming excessive amounts of salt when you dine out. Restaurants are notorious for adding too much salt to their offerings, and as someone ordering, you have no way of measuring exactly how much went into your dish.
So how much salt should you really be consuming? Body and Soul notes that our bodies only need 1.15 to 2.3 grams of salt per day, which equals approximately one teaspoon. Needless to say, your intake can often exceed this. In addition to swapping out unprocessed whole foods for anything canned, you can reduce your salt intake by looking for low-sodium alternatives to the groceries you buy and switching out salt for herbs and spices as seasonings.
Surprised by these findings? Let us know how you stay mindful about what you eat.