New US Guidelines Aim To Reduce Salt On Packaged Food, Restaurants

First Posted: Jun 03, 2016 05:20 AM EDT

Foodies are likely to experience a slight change in satisfying their taste buds the next time they head on over to a nearby restaurant following the new guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration to curb down salt consumption.

The new guidelines were issued to major food manufacturers and restaurant chains in an effort to reduce salt in products. The guidelines included sodium reduction targets set for two and ten years.

According to Reuters, roughly 70% of the salt found in diets originate from prepared and processed food. With that in mind, the FDA embarks on a mission to lower sodium intake and leave the addition of salt at the hands of the individual if needed.

Excess Sodium is something that could raise blood pressure and is a leading risk factor tied up to cardiovascular disease. The FDA hopes to cut the average salt consumption 3,400 milligrams a day to 2,300. On the average, a person consumes almost 50% more sodium than recommended according to experts.

It should be noted that the guidelines are not yet final. The drafted version will be up for discussion with the public and the industry before finalization in an effort to make sure that the intent and target are covered. There is no set date on when the guidelines would be finalized as of this writing.

"This evaluation should include research that indicates health risks for people who consume too much sodium as well as health risks from consuming too little sodium," said Leon Bruner, chief science officer at the Grocery Manufacturers Association in a statement.

The FDA divided the affected food into 150 categories where each has a Sodium target. It should be noted that there will be some items which will have more room for reduction than the rest. One item singled out is salad dressing which shows that the amount of sodium ranges from 150 mg per hundred grams to more than 2,000. Wheat bread is another item whose sodium content ranges from 220 mg to 671 mg.

"Scientifically rigorous studies consistently find that lowering sodium reduces both blood pressure and cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "No other intervention would have as large a benefit for so many people. Even modest reductions in sodium will have substantial benefits."

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