DALLAS, May 2, 2017 – A diet with too much salt can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure. During May, National High Blood Pressure Month, the American Heart Association Sodium Reduction Initiative is encouraging consumers to kick the salt habit with its first ever #BreakUpWithSalt Hack Contest. As the leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, sodium reduction is a top health issue for the American Heart Association.

Because some companies in the food industry add ingredients like sodium to processed and restaurant foods before it even reaches your table, the American Heart Association is searching for easy, healthy, and original sodium reduction hacks to help people reduce their consumption.

Ideas will be judged in two different categories: processed food and restaurant food. Three hacks in each category will win. The winning tips and tricks will be published on the American Heart Association’s website (heart.org/sodium) and promoted through social media. Winners in each category will also receive prizes:

  • 1st prize- $250 Visa gift card
  • 2nd prize- AHA cookbook and water bottle
  • 3rd prize- Add Color Booklet

A high sodium diet can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure. Also, known as “the silent killer”, high blood pressure is major risk factor for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of all Americans.

About three-quarters of the sodium we consume comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods. Because most of the sodium we eat is in our food before we buy it, it makes it hard for people to limit how much sodium they are eating. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of eating no more than 1,500 mg of sodium each day, or less than one teaspoon. The average American eats more than twice that daily.

“Here’s the real challenge: most of our salt intake, about three-quarters, is buried in the food we eat. If we intend to reduce sodium intake, we must be deliberate and seek every opportunity. This begins with reading labels,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, M.D., former president of the American Heart Association and Chief of Cardiology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Don’t just look at packaged food items in grocery stores, ask about sodium content in casual dining facilities—think about the sodium in bread, soups and desserts; and pay attention to the custom of “salting” food before it’s served. Even in restaurants, you can and should either ask about sodium content or request a lower sodium food preparation.”

Participants can submit their hack online through May 12. Terms and conditions apply. Must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident. Only one hack submission per person is allowed. Winners will be announced May 23 via email and social media.

All hacks must comply with AHA nutrition criteria. Judging will be based on originality, ease of preparation, and alignment with the AHA’s nutrition requirements.

Additional Resources:


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Bridget O’Leary, 214-706-1152, bridget.oleary@heart.org