Salt consumption numbers

Today I was reading an article that said that Brazilian salt consumpion is high (twice what is recommended by the WHO) mostly because Brazilians add too much salt to their food. According to them, 70% of the salt consumed in Brazil is added by the consumer. The US also has a lot of problems due to salt consumption, so I decided to compare. Apparently the numbers are quite different here [source] [source]:

  • Brazilians consume about 4,460 mg of salt a day, Americans consume 3,400 mg. The recommended is between 1,500 and 2,300 mg a day.
  • 70% of the salt consumed in Brazil is added by the consumer. 75% of the salt consumed in the US is from packaged foods.  (the packaged food number in Brazil seems to be 23.8%)

What do we learn from this? Well, first is that Americans eat a lot of packaged food. Here is an infographic for you . Based on weight, Americans eat 57% of their total food intake from packaged sources (787 vs. 602 lb). Brazilians each 37% from packaged foods (392 vs 677 lb). So, if we focus on how much actual salt there is in packaged foods in US vs. Brazil, we get:

  • In BR, 0.2 % of packaged foods is salt
  • In US, 0.26% of packaged foods is salt

Not that different, huh? Now for fresh foods:

  • BR:  0.4% of fresh foods is salt
  • US: 0.11%  of fresh foods is salt

A much different story, huh? Hopefully my math is right here...