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FDA wants Americans to consume less salt, and issues new guidance to the food industry

FDA wants Americans to consume less salt, and issues new guidance to the food industry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking food producers and restaurants to reduce the amount of salt in their products over the next two and a half years.

The goal is to reduce Americans total sodium intake by 12%.

The agency released the overarching recommendation on Wednesday, and it is expected to cover a wide range of food products from baby food to chain restaurant meals.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, told NBC News that "what wed like to see is the food industry gradually lower the sodium content" in the most common foods.

Woodcock stated that the initiative's goal is to decrease rates of heart disease, which is the nation''' s 'numerous cause of death'.

Adults should not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, or about one teaspoon of table salt, according to current FDA guidelines.

However, according to the FDA, the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day.

According to Woodcock, the new FDA recommendations aim to reduce that to 3,000 milligrams of sodium each day, or 12% less than the average American is eating.

While the 3,000 milligram goal does not meet the recommended daily consumption of 2,300 millimg of sodium, experts believe that the guidelines are a good first step to address the problem of high blood pressure.

The new guidelines are non-binding, which means that businesses are not required to follow them.

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Katherine Rodriguez can be contacted at krodriguez@njadvancemedia.com. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.

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