With almost 75% of the sodium intake of most Americans coming from processed foods, it is not the salt shaker on the table that is to blame for high salt intake. The Food and Drug Administration released new guidelines asking food service, restaurants, and food manufacturers to voluntarily reduce sodium levels in over 150 categories of food including processed, packaged, prepared foods, cheese, pickles, nuts, sauces, deli meats, crackers, and poultry products. The goal is to help American’s decrease their sodium intake by 12% over the next two and a half years. If successful, the average sodium consumption in America would be around 3,000mg – still well over the recommended 2,400mg but a step in the right direction.
Lowering sodium in the diet to recommended levels has been shown to decrease high blood pressure which is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Medical professionals and nutritionists (including this RDN) are applauding FDA’s guidance and ask to food manufacturers to do their part in following the suggestions. It is my hope that this is but the first step to decrease salt in the American diet to a more modest level to save lives.
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