Too Much Of A Good Thing

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If you drink wine with reckless abandon, justifying it as good for your heart, or if you shower your food in sea salt, thinking it’s a healthier alternative to table salt, you’re definitely not alone. According to the American Heart Association, there are plenty of misconceptions about wine and sea salt, but when it comes to the benefits that each offer, there can also be too much of a good thing. In a survey of 1,000 people, the American Heart Association set out to uncover how informed participants were about alcohol limitations and sodium intake in regards to heart health.

Results of the survey revealed that 76 percent of respondents agreed that wine is good for your heart, although only 30 percent were aware of recommended daily limits. The American Heart Association recommends that men limit alcohol to two drinks per day, or about eight ounces of wine, while women limit themselves to one drink per day, which equates to about four ounces of wine. Excessive and routine alcohol consumption can lead to increased blood pressure and contribute to heart disease, stroke and other heart-related ailments.

When it comes to salt, 61 percent of those surveyed believe that sea salt is a lower-sodium alternative to regular table salt. However, much like table salt, kosher salt and most sea salts also contain 40 percent sodium and contribute equally to your total daily sodium intake. The survey also revealed that 46 percent of respondents believe that table salt is the primary source of sodium in our diets, when in actuality, up to 75 percent of our daily sodium consumption comes from processed foods like canned tomato sauces, soups and condiments. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, which can best be maintained by reading labels and keeping track of what you eat.

The bottom line: Enjoy your wine and salt-just do so in moderation.

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