If eating out at restaurants often leaves you feeling thirsty all day, there’s probably way too much salt in the food. In a new bid to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, restaurants and food companies may soon face pressure from the FDA to lower sodium levels in their products.
NBC News reports about the federal efforts to reduce our salt use especially when we eat out or consume processed foods that are usually very high in salt. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg explains the need to reduce levels saying, “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.”
The typical person in the US will consume about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt on a daily basis which is a third more than is recommended. Levels like this are enough to increase blood pressure, heart disease and stroke risk.
Companies will often use an abundance of salt in processed foods to keep their products fresh, prevent bacteria growth and give it a good texture. This is one of the reasons the FDA will have a tough time convincing food makers to lower salt levels. But once new guidelines are set it is expected that we will have a while to get used to the reduced salt taste in our foods. The FDA plans to call for very gradual changes so our taste buds won’t be shocked by the lack of salt.
What do you think of the FDA’s plans to gradually lower salt content in the foods we consume?
Do you consume more than the recommended amount of salt each day?
This is definitely the right area to focus on. I know I consume more than the daily amount of sodium recommended, and I even try to watch what I eat. Salt is in pretty much everything, even things that aren't "salty" or savory snacks.
I can't wait! With so many people dealing with heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, these products will find a lot of popularity for years to come. Start reading labels and see how high is the salt content in what we buy. Instead of the recommended 3-5% sodium I found 19% and higher in soups, cheese and dried/frozen food... Start by not adding salt and using herbs and Mrs. Dash .I created my own recipes, thanks to the DASH diet. I lost 28 pounds in about 3-4 months and kept it off but it's hard to eat out sometimes because of it. If they could stop adding salt at restaurant, we could still add it at the table. I can't have French fries or onions but I make my own at home with olive oil, unsalted breading and Mrs. Dash and it is delicious. It is not more expensive... and soooo much better for us and our kids.
I think the FDA has a good plan and yes I believe I consume more than the recommended amount of salt each day
Yes, I think the Commissioner is right to focus on working with the Food Industry - either with penalties for non-compliance or with tax incentives for compliance, and that gradual change is the best course.