The real deal: Nine in 10 Americans consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the recommended daily threshold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Laying off the shaker can help a little, but 90 percent of the sodium in our diets comes from processed and restaurant foods. "Manufacturers use it as a preservative, so it's found in items that don't even taste salty, like bread," says CDC epidemiologist Elena Kuklina, MD, PhD. The first step toward cutting back: reading labels. Go for breads with fewer than 100 milligrams a slice and soups with no more than 140 milligrams per serving.
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