Is Sodium Salt?
Salt is Sodium
Is sodium salt? Salt is sodium but not all sodium is salt. Completely confused now? Sodium occurs naturally in foods or may be added during extra processing. Sodium alone, without the chloride, is explosive. Add water to elemental sodium alone and it will explode.
Table salt is sodium chloride. Since the chloride is “ionized”, the chlorine is stable and nontoxic. Anti-caking compounds are added to make table salt easier to pour and to prevent it from absorbing water from the air. In addition, iodine is often added to our table salt. This is not a bad thing. Everyone needs a minuscule amount of iodine in their bodies. During the history of the world, many individuals did not get iodine and thus grew goiters. Since the addition of iodine, this problem has been almost eliminated.
Salt or Sodium: Surprising Sources & Health Effects
Too much salt is simply not good for you. Every expert in the field of anti-aging agrees that too much salt is simply not good for you. Almost everything we eat has too much salt so there are few individuals who only get the USDA daily recommended allowance of 2300 mg a day. This amount equals about 1.15 teaspoons of salt. Salt is essential to our health. Excess salt is detrimental.
Don’t be confused about the question is sodium salt. The labels on processed foods will call the substance sodium. It is the same as salt and the recommended allowance of salt means the same as the sodium on the label.
Amount of Salt in Foods We Eat
One banana – negligible
One apple – negligible
Rice – negligible
1 baked potato plain – negligible
1 can of soda – 15 mg – negligible
1 scoop of ice cream – 30 mg – negligible
1 egg – 62 mg (3%)
½ cup skim mil – 65 mg (3%)
4 Keebler Club Original Crackers – 127 mg (5.5%)
1 bowl of raisin bran with ½ skim milk – 145 mg (6%)
½ cup cream of wheat – 166 mg (7%)
1 oz bag of plain potato chips – 170 mg (7%)
1 piece of toast – 172 mg (7%)
1 medium serving of McDonald’s french fries – 221 mg (9%)
1 serving of peach cobbler – 328 mg (14%)
1 slice of American cheese – 368 mg (16%)
1 hamburger – 378 mg (16%)
1 slice of reduced fat American Cheese – 540 mg (23%)
1 barbeque pork sandwich – 750 mg (33%)
1 can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup – 870 mg (37%)
1 slice of Costco food court cheese pizza – 1370 mg (59%)
This does not include the salt you may sprinkle on your food. That can really add up. The processed foods we buy and eat as well as the foods we order from restaurants have much more salt than we need. Sodium is added to packaged foods during processing such as for curing meat, baking, thickening, enhancing flavor, as a preservative, or to keep foods moist. It makes our food taste better and encourages us to eat more than we should.
As you can see, processed foods have more salt than unprocessed foods. Canned foods are required by law to have the amount of salt listed on the can. Most canned goods contain salt and lots of it. To find out how much salt is in canned goods you must read the labels. The amounts vary so much that often just by changing brands of spaghetti sauce, you can substantially reduce your salt intake.
Too Little Salt
Salt (or sodium) helps to maintain the fluid levels in our bodies. It is the substance that helps to regulate nerve and muscle function.
Hyponatremia is defined as a low concentration of sodium (salt) in your body. It can lead to life-threatening complications, including death. On the other hand, hyponatremia is also caused by medical conditions and some medications.
You have no need to be even a bit distressed about getting hyponatremia from too little salt. As long as you eat a balanced diet your chances are negligible. Consumers in the United States eat too much salt. If you eat processed foods, especially in the United States, your worry should be about too much salt, not too little.
Chronic hyponatremia can lead to complications that among other things will affect our aging. It will reduce our reaction time and thus make us more susceptible to falls and injuries. Bone fractures may occur as it increases the likelihood of osteoporosis.
Too Much Salt
Excess salt can cause tremendous health problems as well as to exacerbate those we may already have. Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure. Blood pressure is increased by the amount of salt you intake and is the amount of pressure blood puts on your vessel walls as it is pumped through your body.
Salt encourages your body to retain water, thus increasing the amount of fluid that must be pumped through your vessels. When your blood pressure becomes high you are at a greater risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Why increase your risk? If you take anti-aging seriously, you know that salt is your enemy.
By increasing the amount of sodium in your bloodstream, the ability of your kidneys to remove water from your body is decreased. When your hands are puffy, chances are you have too much sodium in your body. Your kidneys will eventually take care of the problem. However, the extra strain on your kidneys over time will cause even more problems.
Health Issues Due to Excessive Intake of Salt
This situation is much more likely. We eat too much salt. Especially those individuals who salt their foods without even tasting them. Most times what we eat already has salt and adding salt is just not necessary. Excessive intake of salt may lead to the following diseases that will shorten our lives:
- Heart Attack: a sudden and possibly fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis
- Stroke: the rapid death of brain cells
- Coronary Heart Disease: the build-up of plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the heart
- Osteoporosis: density of bones are reduced
- Obesity: (a by-product of high blood pressure): overweight
- Vascular Dementia: loss of brain function
- Kidney Stones: hard deposits of minerals in the kidneys
- Kidney Disease: loss of function of the kidneys
- Water Retention: retention of water in your body
- High Blood Pressure: the silent killer: the amount of pressure blood puts on your vessel walls
We are told by health professionals to avoid salt. Now you know why it is a good idea to listen to them. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Check all can labels. Prepare your own food without adding salt. Buy fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. If you must use a canned vegetable, rinse it before eating.
So to answer the question is sodium salt, yes. It is the substance we need to be aware of. You will get the amount of salt or sodium you need if you eat a healthy diet and stay away from excessively salted foods. You may find you like it.
For those looking to learn more about this topic, we’ve included a host of resources below. These include products that may be useful, links to other organizations, and places to find more information from quality sources.
Celtic Sea Salt: Sea salt has been shown to be better for you than table salt.
Online Information on Salt
CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a sodium fact sheet.
For more facts check out this article: Is Salt Bad for You? An in-depth look.