Too much sodium in the diet increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other health problems
It's a battle that needs to be fought. Too much sodium (salt) in the diet can contribute to high blood pressure, which accelerates hardening of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other health problems.
The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that American adults eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, more than double its recommended limit. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 90% of American children munch too much sodium, thanks largely to processed food and fast food, setting the table for health problems later in life.
If you're aiming to lower your sodium intake for the long term, experts recommend a gradual process to acclimate your taste buds—and your kids'—to a healthier regimen. The AHA, CDC and other health advocates offer lots of advice for a lower-sodium lifestyle. Here are some of the best: