WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – The Food and Drug Administration is asking food manufacturers and restaurants to cut the salt in their products over the coming two and a half years… Hoping to reduce Americans’ overall sodium intake by 12 %.

The sweeping recommendation announced Wednesday is expected to cover a wide variety of foods that include those from chain restaurant meals to processed food on grocery store shelves and even baby food.

Current dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume no more than 23-hundred milligrams of sodium per day. That equates to about one teaspoon of table salt.

But the average person in the U.S. consumes about 34-hundred milligrams of sodium a day, according to the FDA, with the majority of that coming from processed foods, not table salt.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner told NBC news the change is to slash the rate of heart disease, the country’s No. 1 killer.

“We are targeting lower sodium for a wide variety of prepared, processed or packaged foods, and the reason is that Americans are eating too much sodium, causing high blood pressure and many other medical problems as a result of that, for example, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke just to name the few,” Woodcock said.