It's not hard to eat more salt than you should. The USDA-recommended daily amount of sodium is 2400mg, and a mere teaspoon of salt has a whopping 2300 grams! And is doesn't matter if you don't use the salt shaker. Most of us get an excess of sodium simply from the prepared foods and snacks we buy routinely.

People with high blood pressure already know they have to limit their sodium intake for health reasons. Here's an incentive for the rest of us: If you eat less salt, you'll retain less water and usually feel thinner as a result.

How to cut down? Using less (or no) salt in cooking and forgoing the salt shaker are good starts. But to really make a dent, get into the habit of reading nutrition labels. Chances are you'll discover there's sodium in more foods -- and in higher amounts --than you ever would have imagined.