Wine and Salt: Know the Limits

Health officials are calling for better education when it comes to drinking alcohol and eating salty foods.

A new study from the American Heart Association shows that most Americans believe drinking wine is good for their heart’s health but they don’t know recommended limits. Many also mistakenly believe that sea salt has less sodium than regular table salt.

The American Heart Association surveyed 1,000 adults about the health effects of wine and salt. Of those, 76 percent agreed that wine can be good for the heart. However, only 30 percent were aware of the association’s recommended limits on alcohol.

Men can safely have eight ounces of wine daily. For women, it’s four ounces. Drinking too much alcohol can significantly raise blood pressure, cause heart failure and strokes. Heavy drinking can contribute to high triglycerides, cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents, according to the American Heart Association.

“This survey shows that we need to do a better job of educating people about the heart-health risks of overconsumption of wine, especially its possible role in increasing blood pressure,” said Gerald Fletcher, M.D., American Heart Association  spokesman in a news release.

When it comes to salt, the survey shows that many people wrongly attribute the main source of sodium as table salt. As much as 75 percent of sodium comes from processed foods such as canned foods, prepared mixes, sauces and soups.

Although sea salt, kosher salt and table salt all contain the same amount of sodium,  61 percent of survey respondents said that sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to table salt.

The American Heart Association recommends ingesting no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Eating too much salt can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke and heart problems.

Source: American Heart Association

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