This kitchen table staple can hurt your family's health - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

This kitchen table staple can hurt your family's health

Salt and health (Source: Karyn Christner/Flicker) Salt and health (Source: Karyn Christner/Flicker)
(WAFF) -

A kitchen mainstay can increase your chance of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. The culprit? Salt. 

Dr. Ashish Basu, a cardiologist, explains that controlling your salt intake can reduce a wide range of health risks. "This is the single most simple determinant for longevity, and better health is the decrease our salt intake and exercise on a regular basis."

This is the same advice specialists have been giving for decades. "The current recommendations of the American heart association: we need about one-and-a-half grams of salt. The Food and Drug Administration says not more than 2.5 grams of salt a day."

He says going above those numbers can have a dramatic effect on your body, "Excessive amounts of salt trigger other hormones in our bodies which can and do make our blood pressures go up. With that what happens is heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, all that worsen." 

And he says it's everywhere. "Most of the salt which we as Americans consume here is either table salt. 70% of us have excessive salt intake because of processed meat, canned food, canned vegetables and TV dinners are full of salt."

Doctors say it's also important for children to be taught by their parents about diet, and especially salt intake. 

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