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Heart disease continues in the pandemic The main cause of death in the country.. And many of them can be prevented through a healthier diet.
US Food and Drug Administration New sodium target released on Wednesday It aims to instruct food companies to reduce the salt content of processed and cooked foods. This reduction aims to reduce Americans’ sodium intake by about 12% over the next two and a half years.
This is a step-by-step step, as the FDA expects even greater reductions in the coming years, but this reduction in sodium consumption could have significant public health benefits. Said Janet Woodcock, FDA’s deputy commissioner.
“Too much sodium can make people sick, leading to high blood pressure, causing both heart disease, stroke, and even kidney damage, which can be prevented,” Woodcock told NPR in an interview.
It is impractical to expect large-scale behavioral changes in the population, and people cannot control sodium levels in packaged foods, so agencies are focusing on driving transformation in the food industry, she said. Says. She states that in the United States, even toddlers and children consume excessive amounts of sodium. “People can’t do this on their own because sodium is in the food they buy,” she says.
About 1,800 people die of heart disease every day in the United States. Also, unlike viruses that can die quickly, death from heart disease is associated with decades of unhealthy eating habits.
Today, Americans consume an average of 3,400 mg per day, well above the latest in the US government. Dietary Guidelines Recommendations Up to 2,300 mg of sodium or 1 teaspoon of salt per day.
According to a statement from the American Heart Association, reducing intake to recommended levels by Americans could prevent an estimated 450,000 cardiovascular diseases and save about $ 40 billion in medical costs over 20 years.
The proposed 12% reduction is an important step in the right direction. Darish Mosafarian, Cardiologist and Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science Policy at Tufts University. However, he wants to see more action to reduce consumption to the recommended daily dose of 2,300 mg. “The FDA really has to act, and soon for the longer-term goal of reducing sodium to a point where it’s safe for the American people,” he says.
Over 70% of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from packaged and cooked foods, not from salt bowls in our homes, and there are some amazing contributors. Take a sandwich: Depending on the brand you buy, each slice of bread can contain over 200 mg. With the addition of some delicatessen keys, it’s easy to add another 650mg. (Please refer to Breakdown of a typical turkey sandwich here.. )
Sodium content of packaged food It depends on the brandFor example, use slices of frozen cheese pizza in the range of 370 mg to 730 mg sodium. Even the foods used to make pizza at home, such as canned tomato sauce and pepperoni, can have high sodium levels that consumers may not be aware of, Woodcock said.
Woodcock said in a statement Wednesday that some food companies have already reduced sodium in their foods since the draft version of this week’s goal was released in 2016.
Sodium reduction targets are optional, but Woodcock says other countries have succeeded in a similar approach. For example, the UK’s salt reduction initiative 15% reduction In terms of average population salt intake, Woodcock states that there is a decrease in average blood pressure in the United Kingdom, and that lower sodium is also associated with a lower incidence of stroke and heart attack.
“Not all of this is entirely caused by a decrease in sodium in the diet, but it is certain that it was a contributor,” says Woodcock.
And recently Studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine There are similar benefits from China.”They saw a significant reduction in heart attacks and strokes,” says when a group of Chinese villagers used potassium chloride instead of table salt. Donald M. Lloyd Jones, President of the American Heart Association.
Overall, it’s clear that reducing salt intake can help your health, says Lloyd Jones. “This is a solid science. If we could get rid of sodium from processed foods in our food supply, consumers wouldn’t notice, but they would enjoy health benefits,” he said in an interview with NPR. Told to.
It is well understood how too much sodium can be harmful to the body. If there is too much sodium, the body retains water and is drawn into the blood vessels. This can increase blood volume. According to the American Heart Association, “This is like increasing the water supply to a hose in the garden. The more water the hose blows, the more pressure inside the hose increases.” explainer..
And over time, this leads to illness. “It puts stress on the kidneys, stress on the blood vessels, and stress on the heart,” says Mosafarian.
According to the American Frozen Food Institute, sodium plays an important role as a preservative and taste enhancer for packaged foods. And “reducing sodium is complicated” Trade associations sayHowever, food companies are already working to reduce sodium “by offering a variety of products to meet consumer demands,” according to the release, and “low sodium, low sodium, low,” according to the release. It is a salt-free and salt-free option, and we plan to continue to cooperate in the future. FDA on sodium reduction targets.
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