The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines say that some Americans—those 50 and younger who aren’t African-American and don’t have diabetes and high blood pressure—can still consume as much as 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Everybody else, which amounts to about half of us, should shoot for no more than 1,500 mg.
Considering that the average American now downs more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, mostly from packaged foods and cured meats and fish both goals seem ambitious.
Whether you are already battling high blood pressure or are trying to keep from developing it, there are many steps you can take to reduce your salt intake, starting with reading food labels and avoiding the saltiest products.
—Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor