Americans Confused About Red Wine, Salt Effects on Heart Health

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DALLAS—Results of a new American Heart Association (AHA) survey reveal the vast majority of Americans are misinformed about recommended daily intakes of salt and red wine and how they affect overall heart health.

AHA surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults to assess their awareness and beliefs about how salt and red wine affect heart health. They found that while 76 percent of Americans believe drinking red wine is good for heart health, only 30 percent were aware AHA recommends alcohol consumption be limited to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Heavy and regular alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high triglycerides, cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents.

“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 AHA Spokesperson Gerald Fletcher, M.D.

Survey results also revealed many Americans are confused about low-sodium food choices and don’t know the primary source of sodium in their diets. Of those surveyed, 46 percent incorrectly said table salt is the primary source of sodium in American diets. In reality, processed foods such as soups, canned foods, prepared mixes, condiments and tomato sauce are the source of 75 percent of sodium consumption in the United States. Sixty-one percent believed sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to table salt. Kosher salt and most sea salt are chemically the same as table salt (40 percent sodium) and count the same toward total sodium consumption.

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