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Surprising Number One Source of Salt in American Diet

photo by Sgt. Pepperedjane@flickr

Even if you make a conscious effort to pass up most salt-laden snacks like potato chips, pretzels and nachos, you might be surprised at what is contributing to the high salt intake of the typical American diet. Actually I'm shocked at the report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control. What's the number 1 source of salt in the American diet? Bread and rolls.

It's going to make me take a serious look at my diet. How many times has Clay asked me in the morning what I had for breakfast and my typical response is tea and toast? Right off the bat I'm starting most days with a helping of bread, then for lunch – typically a sandwich of some type and more bread. I usally pass up rolls or bread for dinner unless we're eating Italian and how do you pass up bread when you're eating pasta and sauce?

I can't. But we all should. The problem with bread is that it really doesn't have a lot of salt in it. People just each too much of it. The CDC report says 9 out of 10 Americans consume too much salt – about 50 percent more than what they should have. And it's something that's drilled into us from when we're kids but we just don't seem to learn – too much salt can lead to heart-related health problems including high blood pressure. Surprisingly, the CDC report lists potato chips, pretzels and popcorn at number 10 on the list.

Here's the CDC's Top 10 List


Bread and Rolls





Cold Cuts and Cured Meats










Fresh and Processed Poultry










Fast-food Hamburgers and Sandwiches










Spaghetti and Other Pasta Dishes





Meatloaf and Other Meat Dishes





Salty Snacks (Popcorn, Pretzels, Potato Chips)




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