Sodium and salt

Sodium and salt are found mainly in processed and prepared foods. Sodium and sodium chloride – known commonly as salt – occur naturally in foods, usually in small amounts. Salt and other sodium containing ingredients are often used in food processing. Some people add salt and salty sauces, such as soy sauce, to their food at the table, but most dietary sodium or salt comes from foods to which salt has already been added during processing or preparation.

Adding Salt
Although many people add salt to enhance the taste of foods. Sodium is associated with high blood pressure In the body, sodium plays an essential role in the regulation of fluids and blood pressure. Many studies in diverse populations have shown that a high sodium intake is associated with higher blood pressure.

What Research Shows
Most evidence suggests that many people at risk for high blood pressure reduce their chances of developing this condition by consuming less salt or sodium. Some questions remain, partly because other factors may interact with sodium to affect blood pressure. Other factors affect blood pressure Following other guidelines in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans may also help prevent high blood pressure. An important example is the guideline on weight and physical activity.

Lower Risk
Increased physical activity helps lower blood pressure and control weight. Another reason to reduce salt intake is the fact that high salt intakes can increase the amount of calcium excreted in the urine and, therefore, increase the body’s need for calcium.