Sodium..Its another word for salt, and the CDC says most Americans need to cut back on how much of it they eat.

But Americans love salt! It is in all sorts of processed foods. But too much sodium can lead to serious medical problems. Clarissa Rivera, a dietitian diabetes educator with University Health System told us, "It's very important to reduce salt in the diet because it can help overall it to lower blood pressure." She says high blood pressure is just the beginning. She added, "Having high blood pressure can increased risk for heart disease, also heart attacks, strokes."

Rivera counsels many patients on the risks of high blood pressure. One those patients is Sergio Martinez, who had a heart attack and a triple bypass. Eventually he made making serious diet changes which included his intake of sodium. He told us, "I Lowered my sodium considering I used to eat potato chips all the time. I didn't really watch what I ate."

"The American heart Association has stated that a diet of 1500 mg per day can really help patients to see more improved health benefits," said Rivera. But going out to eat could make sticking to that number quite difficult. But Rivera says a little research can help. She added, "Many times restaurants are posting their nutrition information online, so fast food restaurants and with some of the larger chains, you can go online."

Rivera also told us, if you go out to eat at a restaurant and you are afraid an item is high in sodium, you should ask your server, and if it does, they may be able to offer you a healthier alternative.

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