If you’re trying to reduce your salt intake, you might want to hold the bread. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more salt in the average American diet comes from bread and rolls than from salty snacks like pretzels, potato chips and popcorn. The report says this is due to the fact that the average American eats more bread and rolls daily than salty snacks, so even though such snacks taste saltier and contain more sodium than bread, eating bread contributes more to our intake of sodium.
According to the report, bread and rolls top the list of the top 10 sources of sodium in the average American diet. Salty snacks like pretzels, popcorn and potato chips come in at number 10, while the remaining culprits are cold cuts and cured meats, fresh and processed poultry, pizza, soups, sandwiches (including cheeseburgers), pasta dishes, cheese and meat dishes like meat loaf with tomato sauce.
The report shows that the average American consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Dietary guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day; this research suggests that only one in 10 Americans meet these guidelines. Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The CDC found that cutting the sodium in the 10 leading sources by 25% could help prevent 28,000 deaths a year by lowering the total consumed by more than 10%. The authors of the report suggest people lower their sodium intake by eating plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce, checking nutrition labels and choosing products that are lower in sodium.