The US administration at the extent of proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in a much needed effort to prevent hundreds of deaths each year due to stroke or heart disease has advised the food industry to produce foods less salty.
As the proposed guidelines are voluntary, so the food companies shall not be required to comply. However, the idea is to persuade restaurants and companies, many of whom have already set lowered sodium levels within their products, to opt a much more consistent approach.
The guidelines set prominently recommended limits for around 150 categories, ranging from cereals to sandwiches and pizzas. Some of the targets have a 2 year goal, while the others are at a 10 year goal.
The Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Susan Mayne said that the a continued support for lowering sodium consumption from the current levels have been concluded as per the review by well-respected scientific organizations of the totality in scientific evidence. Susan further added that the situation is so grave that the current marketplace makes it very difficult not to consume too much of sodium according to facts.
A recommended amount of sodium consumption for good health is present across the world but it is in fact of no use as the levels of actual consumption remains at a high, contributing to the increased risk of strokes, high blood pressure, and other problems. According to surveys, most of that sodium comes hidden inside the common restaurant meals and processed foods.
The guidelines have been long-delayed. The FDA first told that it would be issuing the voluntary guidelines in the year 2010, after the Institute of Medicine report explained companies hadn’t made sufficient progress on lowering sodium and suggested the government of America to establish maximum levels differently for distinguished foods. The delays came as food companies balked at the idea of the government guidelines, pointing to myriad efforts to reduce sodium that were already underway.
Contemplating the depth of the risk associated with higher levels of sodium consumption, food industry pointed out to a newer report, IOM 2013, which said there is no proper evidence that consuming sodium at very low levels offers any kind of benefits to the regular people.
If companies do gradually comply with the guidelines, people won’t certainly notice an immediate taste difference in the higher sodium foods such as pizzas, soups, bread, and so on. The idea is to process a gradual change so that the consumers’ taste buds can adjust.
This is a health issue that needs to be tackled. And as does America, our country must opt for a set guideline on sodium levels as well, particularly for the chains and processed foods. A healthy population is the key to holistic development and with the curbing of risks associated with strokes and heart diseases, India may prosper at a consistent and well-rounded manner.
[Image Source: Consumers Union]