For Immediate Release
April 14, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Salt in Your Diet – Is It Too Much?

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more than 2 out of 3 adults are in population groups that should consume no more than 1,500 mg/day of sodium, the recommended level according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These groups include people with high blood pressure, blacks, and middle-aged and older adults. Yet in 2005-2006, the estimated average sodium intake among Americans was 3,436 mg/day – more than double the recommended amount for most people.

A diet high in sodium increases the risk of having higher blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Each year, more than 7,000 Kansans die from heart disease and stroke.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that American adults in general should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

“Eating too much salt can lead to an increase in blood pressure and high blood pressure dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of the Division of Health at KDHE.  “There are simple steps that can be taken to help to reduce sodium intake. When eating out, choose foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and request that your food be prepared without salt.  In addition, be sure to read the nutrition labels on grocery items before purchasing them.”

According to The American Heart Association, up to 75% of our sodium intake comes from processed foods such as tomato sauce, soup, condiments, canned foods, and prepared mixes.

For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website at