By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A recent report looking at salt intake has received a great deal of attention. The average salt intake for an American is over 3300 mg/day, which is nearly double the daily-recommended salt intake.

The 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans recommended a daily sodium intake of less than 2,300mg, about a teaspoon of salt. Even less salt intake, 1500 mg, is recommended for older adults, African Americans, and people with other health problems, like heart and kidney disease.

A blue ribbon panel has recommended lowering salt intake because it does improve blood pressure, but they say there is not enough evidence to lower salt intake down to 1500 mg/day like the American Heart Association and others have recommended. That is why it is controversial.

My best advice is to – at the very least – watch the salt. There are definite advantages to keeping it under control.

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