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Sodium An Essential Nutrient - Is A Low Salt / Sodium Diet Better For Health?

Friday, June 11, 2010
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Sodium occurs naturally in most foods including water. In fact in some cases drinking tap water has excessive amounts of sodium, that can adversely affect a person with hypertension. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table salt. But even foods like milk, beets, and celery naturally contain sodium.

Besides occurring naturally, the following additives contribute to the sodium present in foods:

Monosodium glutamate (also called MSG): A seasoning used in home, restaurant and hotel cooking and in many packaged, canned and frozen foods.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate): Sometimes used to leaven breads and cakes; sometimes added to vegetables in cooking; used as alkalizer for indigestion. 1 teaspoon of baking soda contains 1,000 mg (1 gram) of sodium.
Baking powder: Used to leaven quick breads and cakes.?

Other sodium compounds include:
Disodium phosphate: Found in some quick-cooking cereals and processed cheeses.
Sodium alginate: Used in many chocolate milks and ice creams to make a smooth mixture.
Sodium benzoate: Used as a preservative in many condiments such as relishes, sauces and salad dressings.
Sodium hydroxide: Used in food processing to soften and loosen skins of ripe olives and certain fruits and vegetables.
Sodium nitrite: Used in cured meats and sausages.
Sodium propionate: Used in pasteurized cheese and in some breads and cakes to inhibit growth of molds.
Sodium sulfite: Used to bleach certain fruits such as maraschino cherries and glazed or crystallized fruits that are to be artificially colored; also used as a preservative in some dried fruits such as prunes.

Food item                                                                   Sodium content
Table salt,1tsp;                                                             Approx 2300mg
Rock salt, ½  tsp                                                           Approx 2300mg
Kosher salt, ¾  tsp                                                        Approx 2300mg
Baking soda, ½ tsp                                                                    629 mg
Baking powder, ½ tsp                                                        182- 244 mg     
Yeast extract spread (Marmite), 1 tsp                                         216mg
Soy sauce, 1 tbsp                                                                     1029mg
Miso, 1 cup                                                                            10,252mg
Salt sense, lite salts, low sodium seasonings, 1 tsp          600-1100mg
Bouillon, 1cube                                                                           960mg

By. Kanchan Saggi

Evaluate your diet to assess your daily sodium intake. Daily requirements for sodium are 2400mg, or 1 tsp.




User Comments

17 May, 2012 | Neha gupta | Reply

Neha gupta Very valuable information!One thing to add to this is that one should avoid salt and chaat masala on fruits and vegetables which are consumed raw, as well as when one wants to have lemon water than one can easily avoid salt as we normally see that people have habit of putting salt in to beverages also!
-Start putting slightly less salt in the cooked food in order to develop habit of eating less salt!

09 February, 2012 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam A recent CDC study revealed that 9 out of 10 Americans adults consume too much salt and the culprit is not potato chips but, bread! The CDC said that 40% of the salt that was consumed was from foods like bread and rolls, cold cuts, cured meat, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes and salty snacks. A single serving of bread will not raise the salt intake, substantially, but, when eaten several times a day it can.

09 August, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy We require about 2500 mg of sodium per day to replace the daily loss. Just 1 tsp of salt (naturally occurring and added) is enough to meet the body's daily requirement. Be aware of the sources of sodium in your diet. Avoid high sodium foods and table salt. Cook foods with less salt or enjoy the naturally occurring salt in the food.

29 May, 2010 | Sam | Reply

Sam Hi NutritionVista team,
Its surprising to know how much sodium do we unknowingly consume and take it for granted...thanks for posting such comprehnsive article.

17 June, 2009 | Srinivas | Reply

Srinivas very good article..I was looking for such a article on sodium from many days

Thanks madam

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Tags: Cardiovascular Disease, Children's Health, Diet, Eat Healthy, Health Hazards, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lifestyle, Heart Health, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Obesity / Weight Loss, Renal Diseases, Screening, Sodium, Sports Health


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