The FDA has issued a draft of voluntary guidelines in an effort to reduce the amount of salt in the American food supply. This is a long time coming for public health advocates, who say that these new standards could help to save thousands of lives, according to The New York Times.
The CDC says that more than 70 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans “is already in food before it reaches the table.”
In a statement, the FDA says, “While a majority of Americans reports watching or trying to reduce added salt in their diets, the deck has been stacked against them. The majority of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods, not the saltshaker.”
Though the federal government recommends a daily sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams, the average American adult consumes 3,400 milligrams per day. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
The guidelines set targets for a gradual reduction of sodium content for a majority of processed and prepared foods. With these guidelines, the FDA expects sodium consumption levels to drop to 3,000 milligrams a day in two years and 2,300 milligrams a day in 10 years.