Salt is the stuff of life—we need it for fluid regulation, not to mention baked potatoes—but too much can contribute to hypertension and coronary illness. Many experts suggest a daily sodium intake of about 1,500 mg; however, according to new guidelines from the National Institutes of Health, 95 percent of American men and 75 percent of women exceed the upper recommended limit of 2,300 mg, downing a heart-stopping 4,000 to 6,000 mg daily.

Processed foods pack the biggest sodium punch, so cut back by going natural (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats). Most important: Read labels, and look for items that contain 5 percent (115 mg) or less of the maximum daily recommended intake per serving.