Are salt and sodium the same?
Salt is a mineral made up of about 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride. It’s made either by evaporating salt water or by extracting solid salt from underground salt mines. Sodium is a mineral that can occur naturally in foods such as celery, beets, and even milk, and it’s also added to foods during manufacturing.
Do we need salt?
No, we don’t need salt, but we do need sodium, because our bodies can’t produce it. The sodium from salt performs essential functions, including helping our bodies to maintain fluid balance and helping with nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood pressure. We only need one to two grams of salt per day, and we shouldn’t consume more than 5 grams, because eating too much has health risks.
impact of salt on health
Over time, eating too much sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Although some salts, such as Himalayan rock salt and sea salt, are marketed as healthier alternatives, they contain very similar amounts of sodium and therefore should also be limited. The Heart Foundation recommends eating less than 2,000mg of sodium (5 grams of salt) a day, which is less than a teaspoon.
Article courtesy of Sanitarium Health Food Company. Visit sanitarium.com.au and subscribe to Wholicious Living for more great health and nutrition info each month.