FDA issues new sodium guidelines

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  has issued new guidance for sodium content in commercially processed, packaged, and prepared foods, aiming to cut average salt intake by 12 percent.

More than 70 percent of total sodium intake is from sodium added during food manufacturing and commercial food preparation, FDA representatives said in a statement. Average sodium intake in the United States is approximately 3,400 milligrams per day. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises individuals 14 years and older to limit their consumption to 2,300 milligrams per day.

The new guidance would aim to cut average salt intake down to 3,000 milligrams per day. While the agency said it recognizes this does not meet the threshold defined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, experts believe it is a good first step to address high blood pressure, which affects nearly half of all U.S. adults.

The guidance is open for public comment.