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Sodium In Our Foods: The 10 Biggest Sources Of Salt In Our Diets

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 02/ 7/2012 12:43 pm   Updated: 02/ 7/2012 5:22 pm

Americans love their salt, and are eating much more of it than they should be, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that highlights our biggest sources of dietary sodium.

"Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke," CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said in a statement. "These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs."

The report, which included 2007 and 2008 data, shows that there are 10 kinds of food that make up 44 percent of all the sodium we eat each day, with 65 percent of that sodium coming from store-bought foods and 25 percent coming from restaurant foods.

The average person's daily diet includes 3,300 milligrams of sodium, which doesn't even include added salt that you might sprinkle on top of a dish at the table, the report showed. This amount is more than double the recommended sodium intake level for half Americans, including about six in 10 adults; the recommended intake is 2,300 milligrams per day or less of sodium.

People with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, as well as people age 51 and older and African Americans, are encouraged in the guidelines to take in even less sodium, at 1,500 or fewer milligrams per day, according to the CDC. (Check out these ways to cut extra sodium from your diet.)

Take a look at the top 10 sources of sodium for Americans age 2 and older, from least to most sodium. Are any of these surprising to you? Let us know in the comments.

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  • 1. Breads And Rolls

    The sodium from breads and rolls makes up 7.2% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 2. Cold Cuts And Cured Meats

    The sodium from cold cuts and cured meats makes up 5.5% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 3. Pizza

    The sodium from pizza makes up 5% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 4. Poultry

    The sodium from poultry makes up 4.5% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 5. Soups

    The sodium from soups makes up 4.2% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 6. Sandwiches

    The sodium from sandwiches makes up 4.5% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 7. Cheese

    The sodium from cheese makes up 3.9% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 8. Pasta Mixed dishes

    The sodium from pasta mixed dishes makes up 3.4% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person, and 4 percent of the total daily sodium intake for a 2- to 11-year-old person.

  • 9. Meat Mixed dishes

    The sodium from meat mixed dishes makes up 3.5% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

  • 10. Savory Snacks

    The sodium from savory snacks makes up 2.8% of the total daily sodium intake for a 20- to 50-year-old person.

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