|What we know:
The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommends adults consume less than 2,300 mg (approximately 1 tsp of salt) of sodium per day. This includes all sodium consumed, whether added in cooking or at the table, or already present in food products. In fact, processed foods account for most of the salt and sodium Americans consume.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about 50 million Americans--one in four adults. It is the leading cause of stroke and contributes to heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure. Some Americans, such as older Americans and African Americans, are at a particularly high risk from high blood pressure. Various controlled intervention trials and observational studies have provided strong evidence that consuming a moderately reduced intake of sodium contributes to lowering blood pressure. Be sure to read food labels to choose products lower in sodium.