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Put down that salt and pick up an apple


Narrator:            This is Science Today. If Americans lowered their dietary salt intake by as little as one-half teaspoon per day, nearly 100,000 heart attacks and 92,000 deaths per year could be prevented. Those were the findings of a University of California, San Francisco study led by epidemiologist Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo.

Bibbins-Domingo:            Most of us in the U.S. are consuming way too much salt because the salt is already added to the foods that we eat. Most of our salt, about 80 percent of it, comes from processed, prepared foods.

Narrator:            Bibbins-Domingo says cooking more from scratch can help lower salt consumption, and that eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve vascular health.

Bibbins-Domingo:            Fruits and vegetables have many, many reasons that they're good for your health. One thing we know that they do is lower your blood pressure probably because you're increasing more potassium. We also know that probably when you're picking up the apple, you're probably not picking up something that's salty and so fruits and vegetables are always a good idea. It's has a direct benefit to your vascular health and to your blood pressure.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.