Scientific debates about the role of sodium in high blood pressure go on and on. Committees of scientists reviewing the research invariably conclude that people would be healthier if they ate less salt (salt is sodium chloride). The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is only the most recent group to urge population-wide reductions (PDF) in sodium intake.
As its primary strategy for sodium reduction, the committee recommends that the FDA set mandatory national standards for the sodium content in foods ... beginning the process of reducing excess sodium in processed foods and menu items to a safer level. It is important that the reduction in sodium content of foods be carried out gradually ... Evidence shows that a decrease in sodium can be accomplished successfully without affecting consumer enjoyment of food products if it is done in a stepwise process that systematically and gradually lowers sodium levels across the food supply.
But wait! Hypertension rates have been increasing for years without any change in sodium excretion, says a report on FoodNavigator.com. The report refers to new study in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewing trends in sodium excretion from 1957 to 2003.