Saturday, March 9, 2019

FDA Sodium Intake Guidance

Green Line 1,500 mg 1
Americans charting their sodium intake over time are likely to discover a graph not dissimilar to the one on the right, even if they do not add salt to the food!

The sodium intake graph is above the current dietary guidelines for sodium intake and trending up.

Because the average sodium concentration of industry's typically available off-the-shelf food items is so great, extraordinary2 efforts are required to meet the current dietary guidelines while ensuring all other dietary guidelines recommendations are met.

The FDA aims to help us stay below the maximum recommended sodium intake by providing the food industry with Voluntary Sodium Reduction Goals: Target Mean and Upper Bound Concentrations for Sodium in Commercially Processed, Packaged, and Prepared Foods: Guidance for Industry.

Hopefully, our food industry will immediately implement the FDA's sodium guidance on an accelerated schedule using the above "green line" sodium intake of 1,500 mg  instead of 2,300 mg.

You are encouraged to submit your comments on the draft guidance through August 31, 2016.

UPDATED 03/09/2019 NAP, Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019)
UPDATED 06/03/2016 CDC, Salt
UPDATED 06/03/2016 NAP, Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence (2013)


UPDATED 12/08/2017 MedPress, Researchers say nutritional labeling for sodium doesn't work and AmJrPreventMed, Nutrition Label Use and Sodium Intake in the U.S
UPDATED 02/10/2017 Reuters, Salt Reduction Policies Cost-effective Even Without Healthcare Savings
UPDATED 07/25/2015 FDA, FDA Renews Call to Reduce Salt in Processed Foods
UPDATED 06/03/2016 NYT, FDA Proposes Guidelines for Salt Added to Food
UPDATED 06/03/2016 CDC, New Research: Excess Sodium Intake Remains Common in the United States


UPDATED 06/03/2016 NEJM, Dietary Sodium and Cardiovascular Disease Risk — Measurement Matters (pdf)


1. American Heart Association (AHA) desirable daily sodium intake level.

Additional research should continue on the body's optimal sodium concentration and minimum intake requirements. The current FDA maximum sodium guidance is so far above the minimum sodium required by a typical healthy human (500 mg) that the lower desirable AHA intake level of 1,500 mg raises little, if any concerns.

2. Our citizens should not be required to buy costly "low sodium" or "specialty" items, consult dietitians, or spend extraordinary amounts of time planning, tracking, cooking, and shopping to support a nutritious and healthy lifestyle.

Nor should our healthcare system be required to incur extra healthcare costs as a result of maintaining excessive sodium concentrations in our food supply streams.

Originally Published June 02, 2016; Last Updated March 09, 2019; Last Republished March 09, 2019:

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