A new survey from the American Heart Association has found some bad news: turns out most people don't know what an acceptable amount of salt or wine should be.
The survey asked 1,000 adults how much they know about their recommended daily salt and red wine intake, and the results were disheartening. Over 60 percent believe that sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to table salt, and almost half thought that table salt was the primary source of extra sodium in their diet (we actually get most of our sodium from processed and canned foods).
The respondents were as similarly confused about wine drinking. While most knew that drinking wine is good for the heart, 70 percent had no idea how much is OK to drink.
In light of these surprising findings, here's a reminder about our daily alcohol and salt limits, and why they matter after the break.
Stick to one glass of wine a day.The reason why scientists have recommended only one glass of red a day for women (two for men) is because they've found that although the antioxidants in red wine can prevent heart disease and lower cholesterol, drinking too much leads to higher risk of cancers and other diseases. But there are many other reasons to have only one. Light drinking releases more endorphins than heavy drinking, and limiting empty calories in alcoholic drinks can help keep you from gaining weight.
Have a teaspoon. The recommended amount of salt for a normal person is 2,300 mg, which is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon a day (and the new guidelines suggest that higher-risk people should be consuming less — about 1,500 mg a day). Most Americans, however, take in much more salt than they should. Too much salt in your diet can lead to hypertension, kidney disease, and many other ailments. Since we've grown accustomed to eating super salty foods, it may be hard to wean yourself off. If you are looking for ways to cut back on sodium, steer clear of anything canned, go for low-sodium drinks, and stock your spice rack with flavorful salt alternatives.