(CNN)Potato chips. Pretzels. Pizza. French fries.
Thoughts of these foods can make our tongues dance as we anticipate satisfying our salty cravings.
There’s just one problem: The amount of sodium we consume from these and other processed foods is more than what is considered healthy. What’s more, cutting back on salt in the processed foods we eat could help us live for many more years — even if we are healthy.
“The Western diet is way too high in sodium. … People eat way too much, and it increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and stomach cancer,” said Sonya Angelone, a registered dietitian who specializes in cardiovascular nutrition and is the media spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Research also suggests that too much salt can negatively affect bone health in young girls and postmenopausal women.