The best way to reduce sodium intake is to avoid the six saltiest foods.
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The best way to reduce sodium intake is to avoid the six saltiest foods.

Most Americans consume about 3,400 milligrams of salt a day – more than twice the amount recommended by the American Heart Association. But the majority of this excess sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease, doesn't come from the salt shaker or packaged snacks, but from six everyday foods: bread, cold cuts, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches. "The best way to reduce your sodium intake is to prepare your own meals or buy fresh, nonpackaged foods. If it doesn't have a label, you can bet it's low in sodium," says nutritionist Nicolette Pace. The one caveat to this rule may be fresh bread: Rolls and loaves from store bakeries can still be high in sodium, accounting for 7 percent of your daily intake. Short of baking your own, find a low-sodium brand you like.