Amount of sodium in packaged foods down; Americans still consume too much

Updated: Jun. 15, 2017 at 9:38 AM CDT
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WSFA/NBC - A new study indicates that Americans are consuming less salt. Unfortunately, it's not necessarily because we're making healthier choices.

According to researchers, it turns out, much of the decrease in American salt intake can be chalked up to food manufacturers.

Researchers examined data on packaged food and beverages purchased by 172,000 U.S. households. They found between the years 2000 and 2014 the amount of sodium in the products Americans bought dropped to 12 percent, less than 2,000 milligrams a day.

Experts say that's still too much.

The data also showed that less than two percent of American households specifically bought packaged food and drinks with ideal amounts of sodium. Most of the salt we eat comes from packaged foods and restaurant meals, which means it accumulates throughout the day.

Adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day which is about one teaspoon. Ideally, it should be half that.

Experts say most Americans ingest far too much, about 3,400 milligrams daily.

Doctors recommend choosing low-salt foods, replacing salty snacks with fresh fruit, and keeping track of how much salt you consume.

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