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Rise of salt consumption in the U.S.

 

Narrator:                  This is Science Today. According to the American Heart Association, salt consumption in the U.S. has dramatically risen since the '70s, despite evidence linking salt intake to high blood pressure and heart disease. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, has found that if Americans cut their salt intake back by just three grams a day, blood pressure would be lowered in a measureable way.

Bibbins-Domingo:   All of us in the U.S. would benefit from slightly lower blood pressure, but some groups — those who have hypertension, those who are African American, those who are over 60 — would actually benefit proportionally more.

Narrator:                 With all of the processed foods readily available, it may seem a hard task to reduce salt intake, but Bibbins-Domingo says just being more mindful and reading labels can go a long way. The good news? Our bodies actually adjust to cutting back on salt.

Bibbins-Domingo:   They down-regulate over time, so as you start to eat less salt, you start to crave less salt.

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