Ninety percent of Americans eat too much salt every day, and the top food offenders include cheeseburgers, pizza, bread, deli meat and potato chips, US health officials said on Tuesday.
The average American eats about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that does not include salt added from the shaker on the table, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs report.
US guidelines recommend that people limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
High risk populations — including African-Americans, people 51 and older and those with with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease — should stick to 1,500 milligrams daily.
“Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” said CDC director Thomas Frieden.
“These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs.”
The report pointed to 10 types of food that add up to more than 40 percent of the nation’s sodium intake.
Poultry, soups, cheese, pasta dishes, meatloaf rounded out the top 10.
Some 65 percent of Americans’ sodium comes from food sold in stores, and 25 percent comes from meals in restaurants.
The CDC urged people to check labels for salt content, eat more fresh vegetables without sauce, and limit consumption of processed foods.