By Steven ReinbergHealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, May 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Tossing out the salt shaker may not be enough for your heart health. Most of the salt that Americans consume comes from processed foods and restaurant meals, a new study finds.
In a sampling of 450 U.S. adults, only 10 percent of salt, or sodium, in their diet came from food prepared at home. About half of that was added at the table.
Instead, restaurant meals and store-bought foods -- including crackers, breads and soups -- accounted for 71 percent of salt intake, the study found.
"Care must be taken when food shopping and eating out to steer clear of higher-sodium foods," said lead researcher Lisa Harnack.
For prevent harmful high blood pressure, Americans are advised to limit salt intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) daily, said Harnack, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. That's the equivalent of one teaspoon.
But, more than eight out of 10 Americans exceed this limit "by a mile," she said.
Food diaries from study participants showed that about 3,500 mg of sodium was consumed a day on average.