The FDA is encouraging the food industry to cut back on added salt. On June 1, 2016, the agency proposed voluntary guidelines for short- and long-term goals to reduce sodium levels in commercially processed and prepared food. The proposed guidelines are now open to public comment.
The intent of the new targets is to help Americans consume less salt. The FDA reports that on average, people in the United States currently consume 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, high above the federal recommended limit of 2,300 mg. (The American Heart Association has an even lower limit: 1,500 mg per day.) A salty diet can lead to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Don’t wait for the food industry to cut back on salt. Start reading food labels for sodium content, and try flavoring your food with other spices, such as cumin, pepper, or ginger.