News article

FDA prepares long-awaited guidelines to reduce salt

Posted:  Thursday, June 19, 2014

The FDA were to release the much anticipated guidelines in 2013 but haven’t so far. These guidelines were put into place to aid the reduction of salt in the daily dietary intake. Salt contains sodium and the intake of sodium has be known to cause high blood pressure and due to high BP, there are chances of stroke or heart attack, if not controlled. The FDA has decided to introduce these guidelines slowly into food items as not to disturb the taste buds of people.

Guidelines to reduce salt:

The FDA are in the process of preparing of voluntary guidelines for the food industry. These guidelines will act as a warning to all restaurateurs and manufactures in the industry. FDA Commissioner Margret Hamburg said, that sodium is of huge concern to them. She added, "We believe we can make a big impact working with the industry to bring sodium levels down, because the current level of consumption really is higher than it should be for health."

She also added “I think one of the things we are very mindful of is that we need to have a realistic timeline.”

American’s consume about 1.5 teaspoons of salt daily, which is almost three times the recommend amount. The daily recommend daily intake of salt should not be more than 1,500 mgs a day. The food industry has refuted this static because they say there are no proven benefits of consuming sodium below 2,300 mgs, as reported by a 2013 IOM report. The government has recommend that adults older than 50 and individuals suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney problems should eat only 1500mgs a day.

Reduce Salt:

Hamburg noted that certain companies use sodium to increase shelf life as it prevents the growth of bacteria and improves flavour. Even though the certain companies have reduced the salt in their products, it is hard to remove or reduce salt in those products that use it as preservative.

Food companies like Wal-Mart have agreed to enforce the reduction of sodium by 25 percent over a period of year, food giants ConAgra has also decided to reduce sodium by 20 percent. Many companies have suggested that by removing added salt or switching ingredients can be beneficial. However, the use of Potassium Chloride, which is a substitute for sodium chloride (Salt) can give a metallic taste to the food.

The Center of disease of control (CDC) has mentioned that sodium in a slice of white bread ranges from 80 milligrams to 230 milligrams. Three ounces of turkey deli meat can have 450 milligrams to 1,050 milligrams. Therefore, stated that the amount of sodium in food items can vary to a large extent.

"Those differences say to me that the companies that make the highest-sodium products could certainly reduce levels to the same as the companies that make the lower-sodium products," said Michael Jacobson of the Centre of Science.

The intake of salt should be reduced to maintain blood pressure and the illness that are associated with it.