Australian researchers monitored the sodium intake and hip-bone density of 124 postmenopausal women over a two-year period. Those who were within Australia's recommended maximum intake -- 2,100 mg or less a day -- had no bone loss. But as sodium intake went up from there, so did bone loss.
In heavy salt users, calcium supplements may simply be washed right out of the body.
The best way to cut down? Not by hiding the salt shaker. About 77 percent of the sodium Americans consume is from processed foods; only about 6 percent is added at the table. Read labels carefully, choose low-sodium options in canned, frozen and convenience products, and be wary of fast foods, which tend to be salt loaded.