Why is too much salt a health risk?

Mary Mullen
Nutrition & Dietetics
People who eat a diet high in sodium (salt) are at increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease. and stroke. Early stages of health problems related to blood pressure begin during childhood, so both children and adults should cut back on sodium, working gradually toward a goal of 1,500 mg of sodium (or less) per day. That’s about two-thirds of a teaspoon of table salt.
Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

In a world of fast food, supersized sodas, and televised temptations, this guide shows how to buck the obesity trend currently in the national spotlight—and have fun doing it. Using a family...
Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine
Excess sodium is linked to high blood pressure and to stroke, the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. About 80% of people's salt intake comes from processed foods and unexpected sources such as breakfast cereals.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Eighty percent of our sodium intake comes from processed and canned foods. In fact, many canned foods are so chock-full of salt, they contain half or more of your daily recommended intake. A diet high in sodium is dangerous since it can lead to high blood pressure.

Continue Learning about Sodium

Why should I consume less sodium (salt)?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Salt is a big problem for those few people who are salt-sensitive. It's less of a problem for most o...
More Answers
How much sodium is in table salt?
Penn MedicinePenn Medicine
Table salt is made up of two minerals: sodium and chloride. Common table salt is 40% sodium and 60...
More Answers
How to Eat Less Salt and Lower Your Stroke Risk
How to Eat Less Salt and Lower Your Stroke Risk
4 Ways to Cut Back on Sodium
4 Ways to Cut Back on Sodium

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.