How Can I Control My Sodium Intake?

The federal government has announced that it is stepping up its efforts to help Americans enjoy healthier lives by encouraging lower sodium use.

Excessive sodium consumption can contribute significantly to high blood pressure while also contributing to chronic medical problems in the longer term. In turn, chronic medical problems are often a red flag to insurers that can trigger higher health and life insurance costs for consumers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will distribute $1.9 million to initiatives underway in five states aimed at helping people cut back on their sodium consumption.

“Sodium reduction is a public health imperative that would benefit everyone,” said Dr. Darwin Labarthe, director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. “We must continue to build the public health capacity for reducing sodium consumption by working on strategies at the national, state and local levels.”

The CDC also reported that the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day – although recommended daily consumption is only 1,500 milligrams for most people. Also, the CDC noted that 77 percent of the sodium that Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods.

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