POLITICS

The FDA wants to take your salt away – Reason.com


The Food and Drug Administration has voluntarily issued guidelines that require restaurants and grocers to limit the amount of sodium in the food you buy so that you do not consume more than 3,000 mg (mg / day) per day. Most of the sodium we take in comes from table salt. Currently, Americans use about 3,400 mg / day of sodium. As an argument for this guideline, the FDA refers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines for Americans, recommending that individuals 14 years of age or older limit their consumption to 2,300 mg / day. This is a little more than a teaspoon of salt per day.

The FDA doesn’t want to go that far. The agency explains:

The guideline aims to reduce the average sodium intake to 3,000 mg / day by reducing the amount of sodium in the diet over time by encouraging American food producers, restaurants, and food service activities. Although we acknowledge that a reduction of 3,000 mg / day will still exceed the proposed sodium limit of 2,300 mg / day, the 2.5-year targets are to balance the need for comprehensive and gradual reduction in sodium and the technical and market limitations for the universally known sodium reduction and reform. .

The internal goal of limiting salt intake is to reduce the incidence of high blood pressure and heart disease in Americans. The FDA says there is a sensation among nutrition researchers that such a limit would achieve those goals. Indeed, that “sensory decline” is a highly controversial field of research that contradicts a large deal of recent data.

For example, a study in June 2021 European Heart Journal Average sodium intake in 181 countries has been observed and it has been reported that higher per capita length is related to longevity and lower mortality for all reasons.

A co-editorial noted that more than a dozen recent epidemiological studies have found that low-sodium intake recommended by the FDA compared to the current average cost is “not related to a lower risk of cardiovascular events and death, and even an increased risk.” In particular, one study found It has been found that moderate doses of 3,000 to 5,000 mg / day were best when low and high costs were associated with risk of death and cardiovascular disease. According to editorial observations, the results of several randomized trials of sodium limitation are expected later this year to determine whether “sodium reduction should be recommended and if so, the optimal range of sodium intake consistent with human health.”

Keep in mind that this study is reporting observational evidence at the population level. Numerous studies support the study that reducing sodium intake will lower blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure. Perhaps this is due to the fact that some subsets of Americans may be particularly sensitive to salt and may benefit from eating less. Better testing should be done to identify such people so that the rest of us can use our sodium in peace. As always, if your goal is to protect your health, try to exercise restraint in what you eat and drink.



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