All About Salt

Don’t take the threat with a grain of salt. Around 90% of healthy people eat more salt than is recommended. We could save an estimated $200 million dollars per year by just reducing sodium to 1,200 mg per day. The average adult diet involves a whopping 3,400 mg of sodium every day.

So, why? Are we addicted to our salt shakers? You might be surprised, if not thoroughly flabbergasted. Most of the sodium in our diets does not come from our tables or stoves. It doesn’t come from seasoning our foods. It’s already in the foods we purchase at the grocery store. It’s estimated that over 75% of sodium in our diets comes from prepackaged and processed foods, or restaurant products.

The human body requires sodium (only around 500 mg per day) to function normally. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 2,300 mg per day for the healthy individual. Those who have health issues will need to reduce the amount, and you should consult with your doctor to see what your intake level should be.

Now, considering those statistics, a typical hamburger with the “fixings,” at a fast food eatery will have around 1,000 mg of sodium. That should be repeated: 1,000 mg. That alone is twice the necessary daily amount of sodium, and 1/3 of the recommended amount for the day.

It remains unclear as to why such amounts of sodium are needed. There is the question of taste, however, these amounts are simply needless. Not only do we have a globe filled with non-sodium flavor alternatives, potassium is commonly used as a sodium substitute. When used in cooking, there is virtually no difference between potassium and salt. Potassium also offers a number of health benefits, when used in moderation. There is the question of preservation, however, we have a plethora of alternative methods available.

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