“Should We Avoid Excessive Salt Consumption”

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 103 million Americans—nearly one-half of all US adults—have hypertension, which puts them at increased risk for life-threatening complications, such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Consuming too much salt makes it harder for the kidneys to properly remove fluid, which then builds up in the body and can lead to hypertension over time. The condition stiffens and narrows the blood vessels, which decreases the amount of blood and oxygen that flows to vital organs and, in turn, causes the heart to pump more blood in an attempt to make up for the shortage. Reducing dietary sodium intake is one of the most effective ways to reduce hypertension and its associated risks. Common foods can have hidden amounts of salt and cause unwanted effects. Stay away from foods that are notorious for their high sodium levels, such as frozen, prepackaged meals. In addition, keep an eye out for these 5 foods you might not have known are high in sodium.

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