Salt in our food

Sodium has a tendency to cause water retention which can lead to unwanted puffiness. I know when I have sushi I usually have puffy eyes the next morning. Elevating your head when sleeping and drinking more water may help reduce the puffiness. Interestingly enough, a low sodium level will also cause water retention. In this post let’s talk about salt in our food.

Most of us with good kidney function are able to handle our salt intake even if it is high. This was discussed in another post, “Is Salt Bad For You”. Those who should watch their salt intake include,

  • People ages 51 and older
  • African-Americans
  • People with high blood pressure, diabetes, or long-term kidney disease

That being said higher sodium intake has been linked to chronic health problems, such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, and hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Sodium has also been linked to autoimmune diseases. Sodium has also been associated with an immune system response which occurs with diseases such as allergies and lupus, this article details these events.

WebMD suggests,

  • Sodium-free: Less than 5 milligrams a serving
  • Very low-sodium: 35 milligrams or less per serving
  • Low-sodium: Less than 140 milligrams per serving
  • Reduced sodium: 25% less sodium
  • Unsalted, no salt added, or without added salt: Made without the salt normally used, but still has the sodium that’s a natural part of the food itself.

Salt in our food -Read labels

Learn to read labels. We expect that chips and pretzels are high in salt. We don’t expect to see salt in bread but it is there, take a look.

Here is a list of other foods that contain salt

Vegetable juices


Canned foods

Jarred sauce

Deli meats

Marinades, ketchup  and salad dressings

Restaurant and take-in food

Over the counter medication such as those for heartburn

Salt in our food -Look at the ingredients

You may not see sodium. You may see,

  • Sodium alginate
  • Sodium ascorbate
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sodium saccharin
  • Sodium stearoyl lactylate
  • Sodium sulfite
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Na

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend a maximum intake of no more than 2.3 grams (g) or 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, or around 1 teaspoon, and preferably no more than 1,500 mg.

What do you think about salt in our foods?

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