According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pretty much all American's are consuming WAY MORE than the recommended amount of sodium.
88% of U.S. children and adults are consuming more than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day, the amount recommended by federal dietary guidelines.
A report from the CDC shows that the average American goes over the suggested daily amount of sodium by 53% and consumes about 3,513 milligrams.
Researchers aren't surprised by the data, but are now aware public health officials have a lot of work to do in order to curb America's taste for their favorite spice.
A high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, which contributes to life-threatening health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
The problem, as a coauthor of the report points out, is not that we're sprinkling too much salt from the shaker on our food, but instead we're eating too much food that is too high in sodium to begin with.
Janelle Peralez Gunn, a public health analyst with the CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, said:
"A lot of people tend to think…'I don't add salt to my food,' without realizing that they've probably already exceeded—and in some cases probably doubled—their [recommended] intake before they've even picked up the saltshaker."
Health officials believe a partnership between the government and food companies may be the key to lowering America's sodium intake.
Over two dozen food manufacturers and restaurant chains have already pledged to reduce the sodium in their food up to 25% by 2014 with the National Salt Reduction Initiative.
We don't advise waiting for corporations to take action before you do first as a consumer. Check nutrition labels and opt for lower sodium foods as part of your healthy diet. Including more water, fruits, and veggies into your diet is also an easy way to reduce your salt consumption!