3-gram reduction in daily salt intake would decrease coronary heart disease, stroke, and death

The U.S. diet is high in salt, with the majority coming from processed foods. Reducing dietary salt is a potentially important target for the improvement of public health.

Reducing dietary salt by 3 g per day (1200 mg of sodium per day) is projected to reduce the annual number of new cases of CHD by 60,000 to 120,000, stroke by 32,000 to 66,000, and myocardial infarction by 54,000 to 99,000 and to reduce the annual number of deaths from any cause by 44,000 to 92,000. Such an intervention would be more cost-effective than using medications to lower blood pressure in all persons with hypertension.

The cardiovascular benefits of reduced salt intake are on par with the benefits of population-wide reductions in tobacco use, obesity, and cholesterol levels.


Projected Effect of Dietary Salt Reductions on Future Cardiovascular Disease. NEJM, 2010.
Sweat Bees prefer sweaty people because the human diet is so salty that their perspiration is saturated with that essential nutrient. WSJ, 2012.
Image source: Single-serving salt packets. Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.


  1. I'm glad this is a hot topic right now. Americans consume a large amount of processed foods, which have extreme levels of salt. In fact 77% of salt intake comes from processed foods. The FDA is currently talking about a 10 year plan to mandate salt levels in food.

  2. nobody reads the labels... it clearly says how much sodium is in - right there...

  3. I agree with you, Jesse. It's great to see the FDA and CDC are taking real, measurable steps toward reducing sodium levels in processed food. After salt is conquered,I'd like to see the levels of sugar in 'diet' food reduced significantly.

  4. Government regulations are one thing but individual people have responsibility too. Nobody stops anybody from reading the labels...