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The FDA Releases Guidance To Drastically Decrease Sodium In Several Foods

Roommates, I know y’all love a good meal! When the food is tasty, fresh, and seasoned to perfection, it’s lit. The food choice will determine how healthy the meal is when you think about calories and the amount of sodium included. Although salt adds flavor, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to make drastic changes to keep everyone safe by reducing salt intake.

The FDA is asking food manufacturers and restaurants to cut the salt in their products over the next 2.5 years. This drastic change hopes to reduce Americans’ overall sodium intake by 12 percent, according to NBC News. That would decrease it by 3,000 mg a day, equivalent to consuming 60 fewer teaspoons of salt a year. The guidance was announced Wednesday and is expected to cover a wide variety of foods. From meals at chain restaurants to processed food on grocery store shelves which even includes baby food.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, says, “What we’d like to see is the food industry gradually lower the sodium content.” According to reports, Dr. Woodcock’s goal is to slash heart disease rates, which are the country’s number one killer. She also stated that reducing sodium in the diet ultimately “would have a major impact on hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.”

Current dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, equating to about one teaspoon of table salt. However, the FDA says the average person in the United States consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium a day from processed foods, not table salt.

The FDA has been working on this change for a while. Wednesday’s recommendation finalizes interim guidance the agency issued back in 2016 about the number of salt companies should add to food, although the food industry ignored the guidance. It’s unclear what actions will be taken to see if companies follow through with the guidance or if any penalities would incur for those who don’t follow through.

The FDA addressed the concern stating they plan on observing the industry over the coming years. Reports also state that they may reward companies that comply but did not say whether they would take any action against companies that do not lower sodium.

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