Yesterday, the FDA opened for public comment its long-awaited guidance for industry about reducing salt in processed food products. The guidance affects about 150 products. It gives baseline data for those products and sets targets for salt reduction.
Please note that I am using the word salt, not sodium. The targets are for sodium reduction. Most dietary sodium comes from salt added to processed foods and pre-prepared foods. Salt is 40% sodium. The target dietary intake of 2300 mg sodium comes to just under 6 grams of salt a day, which is not particularly low. It is, however, lower than current intake levels.
In a blog post, FDA official Susan Mayne said the link between sodium intake and blood pressure is “strong and well documented,” but
In fact, it’s very difficult in the current marketplace NOT to consume too much sodium. The average intake today is over 3,400 milligrams—significantly more than the 2,300 milligram limit recommended by federal guidelines. And it’s not just adults who are eating too much sodium: Children and teens consume more than is recommended.
Vox, for example, provides a terrific chart on the amounts of sodium in foods. It starts with this:
Susan Mayne goes on to explain that
the FDA assessed the sodium con…