FDA Announces Voluntary Sodium Guidance

The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday released the agency’s long-awaited voluntary guidance on salt intake for Americans. The draft guidance focuses on reducing the salt used in processed and restaurant foods by one-third over ten years. The FDA says the reduction is recommended because Americans get 70 percent of their sodium from those foods, according to the Hagstrom Report.

The FDA says current average adult intake of sodium is approximately 3,400 milligrams per day, and the FDA’s goal is to reduce consumption to 2,300 milligrams per day. The FDA says the reduction would result in tens of thousands fewer cases of heart disease and stroke each year, as well as billions of dollars in health care savings over time. The FDA says the targets are voluntary because sodium is important to taste, texture and microbial safety.