Apparently, on average, we’re all progressively harming our hearts on the daily with the amount of salt we’re ingesting.
A new study out of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia evaluated 3,000 adults and found that half typically consumed two teaspoons of salt (or 3730 mg of sodium) a day. That amount of sodium is enough to regularly damage the heart and make it harder for blood to flow, and those who ate more than two teaspoons displayed heart enlargements and strains that were characteristic precursors of structural damage.
Currently, the World Health Organization recommends consuming less than a teaspoon of salt a day, which is about 1800 mg of sodium. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also notes that Americans consume 50% more sodium on average than recommended and considers it a key reason why a third of all adults experience high blood pressure.
This doesn’t mean you should stow the salt shakers, since those only account for about 9% of salt ingestion per day. A lot of processed foods that are high in sodium, like chips, cheese, meats, and the like, were the major contributor to dietary sodium, according to a 1991 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
While the government tends to receive regular pushback when they try to cut the recommended dietary intake of salt, you can still cut it at home by decreasing processed food consumption and becoming more in control of the sodium you ingest on a regular basis.