New FDA Guidance Will Aim to Drastically Cut Salt from Food in the US

When it comes to our health, a healthy diet can help prevent a lot of diseases, including heart disease, which is the number one killer in the United States. One way to help prevent heart disease is to make sure we’re not consuming too much sodium. Unfortunately, most Americans are consuming a lot more sodium every single day than they should be.

Ideally, adults would consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. That’s approximately one teaspoon on salt every day. However, most Americans consume closer to 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day.

Much of the sodium that Americans consume doesn’t come from sprinkling salt on top of their food. It comes from pre-packaged foods and restaurant foods that already have the sodium mixed in. According to the FDA, “More than 70 percent of total sodium intake is from sodium added during food manufacturing and commercial food preparation.” It would be impossible to remove the sodium from the food since it’s already there.

In order to make it easier for Americans to consume less sodium, the FDA is hoping its new sodium guidelines will motivate food manufacturers and restaurants to slowly cut back on the about of sodium in their products. The FDA’s goal is for the amount of sodium to be reduced over the next two and a half years so that two and a half years from now Americans are consuming closer to 3,000 milligrams of sodium each day instead of 3,400. That’s still not down to the goal of 2,3000 milligrams each day, but it’s closer than where we are now.

The hope is that if restaurants and food manufacturers slowly decrease the amount of sodium in their foods consumers may not even notice the difference. The food ideally won’t taste noticeably different.

It’s important to keep in mind that the FDA is only recommending that food manufacturers reduce the amount of sodium in their food. They are not requiring it. That means that food manufacturers and restaurants could decide not to make any changes, but the hope is that they will take the guidelines seriously and do their best to reduce the amount of sodium in their food.

In a statement, the American Frozen Food Institute explained, “Our members have made, and continue to make, strides to reduce the sodium content of their foods by offering a variety of products to meet consumer demands.”

The National Restaurant Association also released a statement saying that they have been working with the FDA and that they “provide options to address customers’ desires and health needs.”

Do you think food manufacturers and restaurants will reduce the amount of sodium in their food? Do you think we’ll taste a difference if they do?