Researchers at the University of California San Francisco used a computer model to learn what would happen if Americans cut 1,200 milligrams, or half a teaspoon, of salt from their diet.
They found there would be up to 120,000 fewer cases of heart disease, and 66,000 fewer strokes each year. The number of heart attacks would also drop significantly.
Experts say lowering salt intake drops the risk for high blood pressure, which has a ripple effect on other conditions like heart disease and stroke.
They also estimate saving 10 to 24 billion dollars in healthcare costs.
A majority of the salt in Americans' diets come from processed foods.
The researchers in this study are calling for a national regulatory effort to lower dietary salt. Right now, the FDA does not regulate salt in foods, calling it an additive that is "generally recognized as safe."
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