COLUMBUS -- If you're one of the millions of Americans counting calories, tracking carbs and curbing sweets in the New Year, there's one thing that may sabotage all of your hard work.
Table salt only accounts for about 6 percent of our daily intake of sodium. Doctors say most of the salt we eat we never see, and that's what often leaves us feeling hungrier and heavier.
"Seventy-seven percent of the sodium in our diet, comes from processed food. And that's what people have to realize." says Dr. Martha Gulati, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
When you eat too much salt, you retain water, which adds weight, but beyond that, excess salt can actually make you hungrier and, if you're not careful, you can eat a lot with little effort.
"In fact, if you eat one meal out at a restaurant, in general, most restaurants, that would be about 5,000 milligrams of sodium." Dr. Gulati says.
That's more than twice the daily recommended amount. Salt can also hide in fresh-cut meat, to make it look better.
"At the grocery store, often they inject sodium into it to make it plumper. They make a mixture of water and salt to make it look better on the grocery shelf." Dr. Gulati says.
Salt can also be in many canned fruits and vegetables so it's important to read the label.
The recommended daily amount for healthy people is 2,300 milligrams which is about one teaspoon. Those at risk for heart problems should have no more than 1,500 miligrams.