Just because you work out regularly and feel fit? It doesn’t mean you can let your guard down when it comes to keeping your salt intake under control. According to a recent statement by the American Heart Association, even healthy people can reduce their risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke with simple changes to their diet.
The organization’s call for people to cut back on sodium is nothing new, although recent studies have questioned the link between salt and heart disease. Still, the AHA says those studies have been misinterpreted—and are digging in their heels.
“Americans of all ages, regardless of individual risk factors, can improve their heart health and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by restricting their daily consumption of sodium to less than 1,500 mg,” AHA chief executive officer Nancy Brown said in a statement, which reaffirmed the organization’s 2011 position.
How are Americans doing with the job of cutting back? Not good at all. The average American eats 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, more than twice the amount recommended by the AHA.
If you already have high blood pressure, listen to the AHA’s (and your doctor’s) advice. And if you’re feeling like you’re in your physical prime? Well, you still should listen to the AHA’s advice. To reduce your salt intake before you lose your healthy edge, check out these simple tips from Men’s Fitness.