How much salt and wine is too much?

Consumer Reports News: April 29, 2011 12:28 PM

Quick quiz: Is sea-salt a low-sodium alternative to table salt? How much sodium should you consume anyway? And, yes, red wine might be good for you, but how much is too much? If you don’t know, join the club. Americans, overall, are a little fuzzy on the answers, according to a survey 1,000 adults just released by the American Heart Association.

Forty percent of those surveyed didn’t know that the AHA recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day—less than half of what most Americans eat. And nearly two thirds said that sea salt had less sodium than table salt. In fact, it doesn’t matter if your salt comes from a shaker or the sea, if it’s finely ground or in big chunks, or if it’s kosher or not, it’s all pretty much the same. Finally, nearly half thought that most of the sodium in their diet came from the salt shaker, while in fact most comes from processed foods.

People are even fuzzier about alcohol. About three quarters of the respondents seem to have gotten the message that wine can be good for your heart. But only 30 percent knew that men should keep that to about two 4-ounce glasses a day, and women to just one 4-ounce glass.

Read more about our tips on alcohol and sodium consumption.

Most Americans don’t understand health effects of wine and sea salt, survey finds [American Heart Association]

Erin Riddell

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