High sodium contributes to the death of Americans? Sodium intake is a huge issue in America. The Food and Drug Administration is asking companies to voluntarily reduce sodium content in their products.
How much sodium are we consuming? Daily sodium intake should not exceed 2300 milligrams daily, with the recommended amount of 1500 milligrams. Americans currently consume a daily average of nearly 3500 milligrams of sodium! Many individuals such as those with diabetes, kidney disease, or high blood pressure should consume less. Restaurant food and hidden salt in many products may be to blame.
Why is sodium bad? Sodium raises blood pressure which is a prominent risk factor for heart disease. In 2011, the FDA set out a detailed plan called million hearts. The goal was to prevent at least 1 million cardiovascular events over 5 years. Among the list of events were stroke and heart attack. Seeking the volunteered reduction of sodium has been a long time coming and is part of the million hearts plan. The Centers for Disease Control also has a program that actively seeks to reduce sodium throughout America. The program’s details can be found through the CDC website.
If you haven’t already heard, high blood pressure is a huge problem in America. One in every three Americans have high blood pressure according to the CDC, with only half of those cases under control. Heart attack, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and kidney disease are just a few of the disease states where high blood pressure poses a problem. Once again, a diet high in sodium is a leading factor in high blood pressure.
How will the sodium reduction plan work? According to the FDA, a voluntary reduction of sodium serves a purpose of weening America off excess sodium. By slowly reducing sodium over time, Americans will adjust to the new tastes of food. Will Americans be supportive? Only time will tell.
Is the future of salt reduction promising? The future is full of challenges for companies reducing sodium in their products. Sodium can be used to increase shelf life as well as a flavor enhancer. Many Americans may not agree with reducing sodium in food which may provide additional challenges.
Overall, I feel this is a great step towards better health in America. With heart disease as the number 1 killer in America, it’s great to see the government attempting to improve our health! Just remember to be safe, be happy, and reduce your sodium!
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration