It May Not Be Your Fault That You Like Salty Foods


About one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. It's a serious problem that typically doesn't have any warning signs until it's too late. And you don't want that to happen. Left unchecked, high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, stroke, vision loss, reproductive problems, kidney disease, and other problems, according to the American Heart Association.

Yikes. So why do so many people have high blood pressure? There's more than one reason. But a major factor for most people is consuming too much sodium. Most people only need 2,300 mg of sodium per day, but the average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium or more per day.

Why? Let's face it. It seems as though we've developed an affinity for salty foods. Think about it: processed meats, frozen dinners, pizza, fast food burgers and fries, canned foods, and then there's the pass-the-salt habit at every meal. Sounds like the typical American diet, right?

Here's where it gets interesting. It might not be your fault that you like salty foods, according to a recent University of Kentucky study. Researchers looked at the eating habits of 407 people who have high blood pressure or other risk factors linked to heart disease. They found that people who consumed the most sodium, also have genetically-different taste buds. People with an enhanced bitter taste perception were twice as likely to eat too much salt that those with normal taste perception.

If you're sensitive to bitter-tasting food like broccoli and leafy greens, you're more likely to avoid these heart-healthy foods and pick high-sodium foods, or at least reach for the salt shaker. Even if you do have a genetic thing for salty foods, that doesn't mean you should indulge your taste buds.

Most people would benefit from keeping sodium levels in their diet under control. And you need to if you have high blood pressure or other conditions. So what should you eat on a low-sodium and diet? More fresh vegetables and leafy greens. More unprocessed foods. Less salt. And you'll find lots of meals to choose from on our Low-Sodium menu.