December 21/Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville Examiner -- For decades, experts have advised limiting salt consumption. After all, excess salt in the diet can cause high blood pressure and other health hazards. According to the national Dietary Guidelines, the general population should consume no more than 2,300mg of sodium a day, about one teaspoon of salt per day.

In a new report released by the National Institutes of Health, investigators at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report that babies exposed early to starchy, salty foods will develop a greater preference for salty taste, by as early as six months of age, than will infants who have not been given salty foods.

The exposed babies consumed 55% more salt than their unexposed peers during a preference test. This preference is shown to last into the preschool years, where exposed children are more likely to consume plain salt.

Findings from this NIDCD-funded research indicate the significant role of early dietary experiences in shaping taste preferences that last into childhood and could potentially influence taste preferences in adults.

 From the December 21, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.