In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that salt and too many processed meats are linked to most deaths from diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
The team examined dietary intake and 318,000 deaths from diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
They found that these deaths were linked to eating too much salt and too many processed meats. In addition, not eating enough omega-3 rich seafood, nuts, and seeds could also contribute to deaths.
The team found that eating too much salt and too much processed meat often go hand-in-hand in sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, beef jerky, canned meat, meat sauces, lunch meats, and bacon.
They also found that eating too much salty food was linked to nearly 10% of those deaths.
Processed meats are a key source of salt, but so are snacks, prepared foods, and even packaged vegetables, especially those canned in salt.
The finding supports other recent studies that many deaths from diabetes, stroke and heart disease were due to eating too much salt.
The CDC suggests that more than 70% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods. Only a small amount comes from the salt shaker.
Eating too much sodium can lead to increased blood pressure, which in turn contributes to heart disease and stroke.
That is why reducing sodium intake to recommended amounts is important to maintaining heart health.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day as part of a healthy eating plan.
People can choose to eat whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh vegetables and meats to reduce their salt intake.
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