Nearly all Americans consume much more sodium than they should, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of the sodium comes from common restaurant or grocery store items.
The latest Vital Signs report finds that 10 types of foods are responsible for more than 40 percent of people's sodium intake.
The most common sources are breads and rolls, luncheon meat such as deli ham or turkey, pizza, poultry, soups, cheeseburgers and other sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes such as meat loaf, and snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn.
Some foods that are consumed several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not high in sodium.
"Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.
"These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs."
The report notes that the average person consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, not including any salt added at the table, which is more than twice the recommended limit for about half of Americans and 6 of every 10 adults.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. The recommendation is 1,500 milligrams per day for people aged 51 and older, and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, and African Americans.
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