In an effort to control sodium intake in the U.S., the FDA announced this week they are calling on chain restaurants and food manufacturers to willingly cut the amount of salt in their products. The goal: to reduce Americans’ typical daily sodium intake from 3,400 milligrams (mg) to 3,000 mg, a roughly 12 percent decrease.
Not all salt is bad. The body needs about 500 mg of sodium daily for essential functions, like conducting nerve impulses, contracting, and relaxing muscles, and maintaining a proper balance of water and minerals,
The problem is Americans are consuming too much sodium. The high sodium diet many consume puts too much strain on the kidneys, letting sodium and water accumulate in the bloodstream and forcing the heart to work harder to pump an increased volume of blood through the body. Eventually, this can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness
One way to reduce sodium is to eat less when you go out, and consider ordering sauces or dressings on the side, Kennedy suggests. And when you cook at home, try to make sauces and dressing from scratch and limit how many processed or packaged ingredients go into the recipe.
People can also reduce their sodium intake by carefully reading nutrition labels on packaged foods when they’re at the grocery store.
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