Salt is impossible to avoid, no matter how hard you try. If you’ve eaten food prepared by someone other than yourself, you’ve probably eaten more salt than you should; if you’ve eaten food prepared by yourself, you’ve probably done it too. The good news is you definitely have to have some salt in your diet — but probably not as much as you’d wish.
The human body needs 200 milligrams of sodium, or about .5 grams of salt, a day to function properly, but according to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes 3,436 milligrams of salt daily. So how exactly are we managing roughly 17 times the amount of sodium we need? Probably a combination of not really knowing what’s in our food, not understanding how much is safe, and being way too accustomed to the taste of salt itself, which a lot of people consider necessary to “bring out” flavors to begin with. Here are a few ways salt can be dangerous and some ways to reduce the levels in your life.