Salt: uses, effects and sources (2023)

Everyone needs salt for fluid balance and muscle and nerve function. But too much salt is bad for us, we hear. So how much do we need?

The human body regulates the amount of sodium it contains. When levels are too high, we become thirsty and drink, and the kidneys speed up the elimination process.

too much sodiumwas connectedaKidney stones,high blood pressureand cardiovascular diseases.

very little sodiumcan lead toHyponatraemia and symptoms of dizziness, confusion, muscle spasms and seizures.

Most Americans consume too much salt and sodium due to high consumption of processed, restaurant, and convenience foods. How far should we go to eliminate salt?

What we know as salt is actually sodium chloride. It is made up of 40 percent sodium and the rest chlorine.

Fast facts on salt

  • The body needs salt, but too much or too little can cause problems.
  • Sodium makes up 40 percent of salt. If a food label says sodium instead of salt, multiply the answer by 2.5 to get an accurate picture of salt levels.
  • Most Americans eat too much salt, and 75 percent of it is hidden in processed and packaged foods.
  • Die American Heart Association (AHA)to recommenda maximum intake of no more than 2.3 grams (g) or 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, or about 1 teaspoon, and preferably no more than 1,500 mg.

Salt: uses, effects and sources (1)Share on Pinterest

The word salt comes from the Latin word "sal" which means salt. It was once a valuable commodity and used as a currency for trade. The English word "salary" comes from the word salt.

Salt has long been used to flavor and preserve food. It was also used in tanning, dyeing, and bleaching, as well as in the manufacture of pottery, soap, and chlorine. Today it is widely used in the chemical industry.

It typically appears on the table or in cooking as free-flowing table salt, rock salt, sea salt, or kosher salt. High levels of salt or sodium lurk in everyday foods, from fast food to frozen chicken.

The body uses sodium to maintain fluid levels. A balance of fluid and sodium is necessary for heart, liver, and kidney health. Regulates blood circulation and prevents lowsblood pressure.

very little salt

A low sodium level can be caused by too much fluid in the body, for examplefluid retention. Diuretics are given in this case to reduce fluid retention.

Other causes of low sodium levels in the body include:

  • Addison's disease
  • a blockage in the small intestine
  • Diarrheaand vomiting
  • an underactive thyroid
  • heart failure
  • drink too much water
  • burns

If the sodium level in the blood falls, this affects brain activity. The person may feel sluggish and lethargic. You may have muscle spasms followed by fits, loss of consciousness,Comeand death. When sodium levels drop rapidly, this can happen very quickly.

In older people, symptoms can be severe.

One study found that when rats were deprived of sodium, they stayed away from activities they normally enjoyed. the explorersHe suggested, hence sodium could act as aAntidepressant.

Too much salt

Excessive sodium intake has been linked to health problems, such asosteoporosis, kidney disease etchypertension, or high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease andcarrera.

Die American Heart Association (AHA)To explainthat too much sodium in the blood "pulls more water into the bloodstream". As blood volume increases, the heart has to work harder to pump it around the body. Over time, this can stretch blood vessel walls, making them more susceptible to damage.

High blood pressure also contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which increases the risk of stroke and strokeheart disease, among other problems.

the ahaUrgepeople consume morePotassiumwhile also reducing their sodium intake. Potassium is believed to reduce the negative effects of sodium.

Sodium also hasbeen shownto overstimulate the immune system, suggesting a link to autoimmune diseases such asLupus,Multiple Sclerosis, allergies and other conditions.

Researchers have found that children who eat salty foods areMore likehaving a sugary drink with her. The combination could increase the riskobesity.

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Salt and sodium occur naturally dissolved in seawater or as a crystalline solid in rock salt.

Most of the salt we consume today comes from processed and prepared foods in our diets, but some natural and unprocessed foods also contain salt or sodium. It occurs naturally in meat, seafood, eggs, some vegetables and dairy products.

The top six salty foods in the United States (US) according to the AHA are:

  • bread and buns
  • sausages and sausages
  • Pizza
  • soap
  • Sandwiches
  • poultry

Sea salt, rock salt and kosher salt contain about40 percentsodium by weight. They may contain extra potassium and other minerals, but in small amounts. All types of salt should be used sparingly.

how much salt

The average American currently eats more than3,400 milligrams(mg) or 3.4 grams (g) of sodium each day. The salt is 40 percent sodium, which is about 8,500 mg or 8.5 g of salt.

The AHA and World Health Organization recommend not exceeding a daily sodium intake of 1,500 mg or 1.5 g per day, or just over 1/2 teaspoon of table salt.

people with high blood pressure,Diabetesor cardiovascular diseases, particular care should be taken to ensure their intake remains below the 1,500 mg threshold.

What does 1500 mg of sodium look like?

  • an egg: up to 140 mg
  • 230 g fresh milk: approx. 50 mg
  • 200 g plain yoghurt: 40 mg
  • 200 g low-fat natural yogurt: 76 mg
  • 50 g raw celery: 140 mg
  • 60 g cooked spinach: 120 mg

Other vegetables are low in sodium, but canned vegetables contain salt and amuch highersodium content

Dietitians are urging people not to add extra salt to their diet because enough is already added, whether it's processed or packaged.

Salt should not be given to children under the age of one year because their kidneys are immature.

It's difficult to measure the amount of salt we're consuming because it's hidden in many foods. More than75 percentof the salt Americans eat doesn't come from the salt shaker.

It's important to check the nutritional information on processed foods to find out which are high in salt or sodium and which are low in sodium, and what the difference is between salt and sodium.

Salt is 40 percent sodium, so if anutritionThe label lists sodium instead of salt, you need to multiply the amount by 2.5 to get the equivalent salt content. If 100g of food contains 1g of sodium, then the salt content of that food is 2.5g.

However, this may be an unnecessary step since health recommendations use milligrams of sodium, not salt, as a reference.

How low is "low"?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that people carefully look for low-salt claims on packaging.

If a serving contains1400mg (1.4g) or lessSodium Per serving, the salt and sodium content is classified as "low".

A food high in sodium is one that contains more than20 percentthe recommended daily allowance or more than 480 mg (0.48 g) per serving.

For example, if a food is salt and sodium free, it may contain up to 5 mg (0.005 g) of sodium per serving. Terms like "light" or "reduced sodium" don't necessarily mean low in salt, just that there's less salt per serving than the regular product.

Doctors recommend avoiding high-salt foods and choosing those that are "no salt added" whenever possible. You get a lot of salt from fresh meat, vegetables, and dairy products.

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