The Food and Drug administration has issued a new draft for reducing sodium in a variety of foods. This comes from increased research saying that a diet rich in too much sodium can lead to a plethora of diseases. Some of these diseases and health symptoms that can come as a result of higher sodium levels already plague our country, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and increased cholesterol levels. With the obesity epidemic on the rise and heart disease being the most common cause of death in the U.S, the FDA thought it was time to take action.
Sodium isn’t necessarily the devil. Sodium is actually needed in our diets everyday, it can balance blood pressure, help send nerve pulses to the body and even lower blood pressure if it is digested in modest amounts. The recommended daily dose of sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams a day. However, many Americans are getting on average upwards of 3,400 milligrams per day. You might think that people just need to lay off the salt shaker, but this is not true. Most people get their sodium from processed and restaurant foods.
With the over consumption of salt, the FDA has proposed a voluntary reduction on sodium levels in food. This means the the change will be based on if companies want to do it or not, they won’t be forced to. Even though this ban is voluntary some food companies are already taking steps in trying to reduce their sodium levels. Companies such as Mars and Nestle, who both produce foods like pizza and rice, are already vowing to make change and gradually lower sodium levels in their foods.
Some experts say if every American could get their sodium levels to the daily recommended value, that it could save thousands of lives in the future. Research also says that Americans want to decrease their sodium levels, but if sodium is hiding in their food when they don’t know it that’s when it becomes a problem.
All in all, sodium is in everything without the consumer even knowing it. Most people don’t think foods like bread and pasta have much sodium in them, but actually they do. In some cases, a piece of bread can have more sodium than a bag of chips. This sneaky sodium intake is exactly what the FDA wants to put a stop to.
So consumers beware, even though a piece of food doesn’t seem salty it could actually have more than a daily recommended value. Always pay attention to labels and food packaging because sodium is in almost everything.