Salt Intake

Doctors say along with counting calories, you might want to watch your salt intake during the holidays, although we literally need it to live.

Without salt, the body would dehydrate, but too much can lead to high blood pressure and eventually kidney failure and heart disease.

The USDA recommends the average person consume less than 2300 milligrams of salt a day, that's one teaspoon. It's even less for those with hypertension and middle aged and older adults.

"It is much more challenging given the fact that many foods that we have are either previously prepared or preserved and even more difficult if one eats out at restaurants," states Dr. Stuart Seides of the Washington Hospital Center.

The USDA urges consumers to read nutritional labels. Eight ounces of reconstituted tomato soup can have up to 1200 milligrams of salt, nearly a full day's allowance of salt for some people.

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