On October 13th, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new, voluntary sodium targets for commercially processed, packaged and prepared foods which are intended to address excess sodium consumption and its negative impact on public health.
This is big news folks! The FDA is now recommending 3,000mg of sodium or less per day. First released by the FDA in draft form in 2016, the final sodium targets are great news for heart and stroke advocates as well as millions of Americans who are at risk of chronic health issues like hypertension. While voluntary, these sodium targets could make a positive impact on the foods we eat up and down the supply chain, from the chicken breasts we purchase in grocery stores to the meals we order at chain restaurants! Lowering our sodium intake is something we can all do to reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke and it is estimated that reducing our sodium levels could also save billions of dollars in health care costs over the next decade.
To be clear, our work is not done and the adoption of these voluntary sodium targets by restaurants and packaged food companies will be critically important. While many members of the food and restaurant industry are already taking steps to reduce sodium levels in food, more needs to be done. But, this is a HUGE step in the right direction.
More to come on this so please be on the look out for ways to help ensure the largest companies adopt the voluntary sodium targets but for now, let’s celebrate the great news which could help us build a world of longer, healthier lives!
Click here for more information on the sodium targets from the FDA or feel free to check out the official statement on the release from the American Heart Association.