The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published findings of a new study that indicates most prepackaged foods are loaded with salt. The effects of sodium on the body was thoroughly researched and printed in the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to experts, high sodium levels quickly increase high blood pressure, which is connected to potentially deadly diseases like kidney disease and strokes. In addition, high salt intake leads to chronic urine infections. Annually, 1.6 million people die from cardiovascular disease because of high salt intake.
On average, people consume 3.6 grams of salt daily, which is close to 80% higher than what the human body needs. Health experts have identified that the body only needs 2.3 grams of salt a day. However, because of existing health risks, six in ten adults should actually cut salt intake to 1.5 grams of salt daily.
In a new study, researchers from the CDC gathered 52 unique products from local grocery stores in three states. After conducting a close analysis of the products, researchers found that 70% of packaged foods contained what is deemed an “unhealthy” level of sodium. Among the different food products tested were pasta mixed dishes, pizza, soups, and meat mixed dishes.
As stated by Linda Schieb, epidemiologist in the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Department of the CDC, processed and restaurant meals are where most people get their intake of salt. For that reason, it becomes even more important to pay attention to labels on foods sold in grocery stores.
People cannot control the amount of sodium found in packaged foods or used for making dishes served at restaurants but what they can do is better control salt intake from foods they buy to cook at home.
Public health officials have long been asking for a reduction in salt associated with packaged foods because of increased risk for a variety of health-related problems. Unfortunately, their efforts have not yet paid off but with new studies such as the one just conducted by the CDC, perhaps food manufacturers will begin to take more action in doing the right thing.