No matter where you live, you’re probably eating way more salt than you should.
Seventy-five percent of the world’s population eats nearly twice the recommended amount of salt per day, according to the first study to analyze salt intake across the globe.
The table-top salt shaker, salt and soy sauce added during cooking and sodium in commercially prepared food added up to nearly 4,000 mg a day per person in 2010.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium in your diet to no more than 1,500 mg a day and the World Health Organizations suggests no more than 2,000 mg per day.
Salt raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease — the No. 1 cause of death in the world.
- Kazakhstan had the highest average intake at 6,000 mg per day, followed by Mauritius and Uzbekistan at just less than 6,000 mg per day.
- Kenya and Malawi had the lowest average intake at about 2,000 mg per day.
- The average intake in the United States was about 3,600 mg a day.
In another analysis of the same data, eating too much salt led to nearly 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010. The U.S. ranked 19th out of the 30 largest countries, with 429 deaths per million adults due to eating too much sodium.