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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is gradually working on a campaign to reduce the amount of salt in everyday foods consumed by Americans.

Cutting back on sodium could save thousands of people from early deaths caused by heart attacks and strokes each year, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Most processed foods – from nuts to soup – contains high amounts of salt to add more flavor. And there is no limit on how much manufacturers can use. Have you ever eaten Ramen Noodle soup? Have you ever looked at the sodium content of one package? You may never eat it again.

While salt is generally considered safe, the agency believes less will translate to better health and prevent deaths from cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

Sodium intake is "simply too high to be safe," said Dr. Jane E. Henney, former commissioner of FDA and chairwoman of the institute committee that produced the report. "Clearly, salt is essential.… We need it. But the level we’re taking in right now is far beyond the maximal levels we need."

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