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How to reduce sodium: 10 tricks to reduce salt (sodium) in your diet


10 tricks to reduce salt (sodium) in your diet

The average adult eats about 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day — far more than the recommended daily goal of 2,300 mg. Here are the top 10 types of food that account for more than 40% of the sodium we eat each day, along with some ideas for simple swaps to help you eat less salt.

1. Breads and rolls

This category tops the list not because bread is especially salty (a slice contains about 100 to 200 mg of sodium), but because we eat so much of it.

Smart swaps: Instead of toast or a bagel for breakfast, have a bowl of oatmeal prepared with just a pinch of salt. Bypass the dinner breadbasket for a serving of whole grains, such as barley, brown rice, farro, or quinoa.

2. Pizza

All the essential pizza ingredients — the crust, sauce, and cheese — contain a lot of salt. Adding cured meats such as pepperoni or sausage adds even more sodium.

Smart swap: Make a homemade pizza using a whole-wheat, pre-baked pizza crust with low-sodium pizza sauce and slivers of part-skim mozzarella or other light cheese. Top with sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, or any other vegetables you like. Bake at 450° until the cheese melts.

3. Sandwiches

Like pizza, most sandwiches contain salty ingredients (bread, cheese, and cold cuts and cured meats).

Smart swap: Load up your sandwich with veggies such as tomato, avocado, and lettuce. Skip the cheese and add hummus, or try peanut butter with sliced apple or banana.

4. Cold cuts and cured meats

These processed meats include bacon, ham, salami, sausage, hot dogs, and deli or luncheon meats. Not only are they high in sodium chloride (salt), they also contain sodium nitrate as a preservative, which further boosts the sodium count.

Smart swap: Cook your own fresh chicken or turkey breast to slice up for sandwiches.

5. Soups

Some varieties of canned soup have as much as 940 mg of sodium per serving.

Smart swap: Look for low- and lower-sodium varieties. Or make a large batch of homemade soup, adding just enough salt to taste, and freeze it in individual serving containers for convenience.

6. Burritos and tacos

Like pizza, these popular Mexican dishes combine a number of high-salt ingredients, such as white flour tortillas (an 8” diameter one contains about 400 mg of sodium), cheese, and seasoned, salty beans and meat.

Smart swaps: Use whole-grain corn tortillas (just 5 mg of sodium each) and fill with grilled chicken or a mild white fish. Choose low-sodium canned beans, and top burritos and tacos with chopped vegetables and salsa.

7. Savory snacks

This includes chips, popcorn, pretzels, snack mixes, and crackers.

Smart swap: Choose low- or reduced-sodium versions of these snack foods.

8. Chicken

This popular protein is often prepared in commercial kitchens, which means added salt. Rotisserie or fried chicken from a grocery store or restaurant contains up to four times the sodium of plain chicken prepared at home.

Smart swap: Bake or sauté plain chicken breasts seasoned with salt-free herb blends.

9. Cheese

The amount of sodium in cheese varies widely, even among the same varieties, so check the labels carefully. Feta and blue cheese are among the saltiest varieties, while goat cheese and ricotta are on the lower end.

Smart swap: Try low-sodium cheese, or substitute small amounts of finely grated, savory hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Romano as a replacement for other cheeses.

10. Eggs and omelets

An egg contains only 62 mg of sodium, so this category again reflects other ingredients and cooking methods. For example, most fast-food egg breakfast sandwiches are made with cheese and ham on an English muffin, and omelets are also often full of cheese, bacon, and ham.

Smart swap: Make your own poached or soft-cooked eggs. Many grocery stores now carry hard-boiled eggs, which are even more convenient.

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Reducing Dietary Sodium and Hidden Sources to Know

If you are sensitive to sodium, decreasing the amount of salt you add to foods and consuming fewer ingredients that contain this mineral can help. Learn the potential effects of a high-sodium diet, as well as how to reduce your sodium intake from a variety of food sources.

Effects of Too Much Sodium

Consuming too much sodium can be harmful to your heart by contributing to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and a variety of other cardiovascular issues.

The American Heart Association reports that reducing dietary sodium is the most frequently recommended self-care behavior for heart failure patients.

Research has also connected a high sodium diet with chronic kidney disease. When blood pressure isn’t controlled, it can hurt kidney function. Poor kidney function can contribute to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

One 20-year study indicates that lowering sodium intake can potentially reduce the risk of death from all causes by approximately 15%. And the more you lower your sodium intake, the more you lower this risk.

At a minimum, a high-sodium diet can lead to fluid retention and bloating. This can make you feel uncomfortable as you wind up carrying around extra water weight.

Should You Eliminate Salt Completely?

If sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and all-cause death, you may be tempted to eliminate it from your diet completely. But sodium serves some very important purposes.

Even though too much can increase blood pressure, consuming healthy amounts of sodium actually helps the body control blood pressure while also controlling blood volume. And without adequate sodium, your muscles and nerves won’t work as they should.

Consuming this mineral is important support healthy body function. The key is to not consume so much that it does more harm than good.

Sodium Intake Guidelines

According to the 2020 to 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most adults should consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily; however, the average intake for adult males is 4,172 milligrams per day and the average for adult females is 3,062 milligrams.

Even children tend to take in too much sodium, with research finding that up to 90% consume this mineral in above-recommended amounts. These suggested amounts are:

  • Ages 1 to 3: 1,200mg per day, or less
  • Ages 4 to 8: 1,500mg per day, or less
  • Ages 9 to 13: 1,800mg per day, or less
  • Ages 14 to 18: 2,300mg per day, or less (the same as adults)

If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 1,500mg sodium daily. Even reducing your intake by 1,000mg per day can help reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.

Certain demographics may also benefit from a sodium-restricted diet. For example, one study found that people with a Non-Hispanic Black race-ethnicity tend to have a higher sodium intake from snack foods. This rate is also often higher in those with lower incomes and lower educational levels.

The recommended amount of sodium is 2,300mg per day for adults, and less than that amount for children. However, if you have high blood pressure or are on a salt-restricted diet, try to stay under 1,500mg of sodium daily.

Strategies for Cutting Back

Your body needs some sodium, so you don’t want to eliminate it entirely from your diet. You can reduce your overall intake by incorporating some or all of these tips.

Put Down the Salt Shaker

One teaspoon of table salt (sodium chloride) has about 2,300mg sodium. One-quarter teaspoon has 575mg, and a dash has around 150mg. This can quickly add up over the course of a day.

Plus, a lot of recipes call for salt. So reducing the amount of table salt you add to other foods can help keep your intake within the recommended guidelines while still allowing you to add flavor to some of your favorite meals.

Start by reducing the amount of salt you shake onto your meals. As your taste buds adjust, you’ll notice that you need less to enjoy your foods. You may even start to really taste the items you eat and decide to not use table salt at all.

Use No-Salt Seasonings

Salt isn’t the only flavor enhancer you can use on foods. There are also a variety of herbs and spices that can really spruce up the taste of your meals. No-salt options to consider include black pepper, cumin, cayenne, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, and sage.

Seasoning blends can work well too. Just be sure to check their ingredients lists, because some do contain sodium.

Try Low-Sodium Recipes

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you likely realize that a lot of your recipes call for salt. Salt is often added to desserts, meat seasonings, veggie dishes, and just about everything else.

When trying to reduce your salt intake, following low-sodium recipes can help. This enables you to keep making the food you love without potentially harming your health. Low-sodium recipes to try include:

Read Food Labels

Read food labels and choose foods that are lower in sodium. In some, salt may be identified as an added ingredient. But there are also other ingredients that, on their own, also contain sodium. This includes:

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Sodium alginate
  • Sodium nitrate or nitrite

Looking for these items on the ingredient list helps you identify whether salt might be found in some of the food staples you regularly use.

Decoding Reduced Sodium Food Labels

Reading lower-sodium food labels can be confusing. Here’s what each phrase means:

  • Salt or sodium-free: Contains 5mg per serving or less
  • Very low sodium: Contains 35mg per serving or less
  • Low sodium: Contains 140mg per serving or less
  • Reduced sodium: Contains 25% less sodium than the regular product
  • Light in sodium (or lightly salted): Contains 50% less sodium than the regular product
  • No-salt-added or unsalted: No salt was added while processing the food, but it still might contain some sodium

Eat Primarily Fresh, Whole Foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that over 70% of the average person’s sodium intake comes from foods that are packaged or prepared. So reducing your intake of these types of foods may have the greatest impact on the amount of sodium you consume.

Canned foods, frozen meals, and many other processed foods contain very high amounts of sodium, both from salt used to flavor the foods and food additives and preservatives that contain sodium in various forms. You’ll find sodium in most butter or margarine, milk, bread, and other staple foods.

You can avoid these sodium sources by eating primarily fresh, whole foods. This includes fresh fruits and veggies, fresh lean meats, and other non-processed items typically found in the supermarket’s produce and fresh meat aisles.

Can You Rinse Sodium Away?

Rinsing canned vegetables and legumes with water can remove some of the sodium. It’s difficult to know exactly how much, as studies and sources differ on this.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, simply draining the liquid from canned vegetables such as green beans, corn, and peas can reduce sodium by up to 9%. If you rinse these vegetables too, you can decrease it by as much as 12% more.

If you need to track your sodium grams every day, you’re probably better off buying low-sodium or no-salt-added canned goods and fresh or frozen vegetables.

Avoid Lunch Meats and Other Cured Meats

If you eat a lot of lunch meat or other cured meats—such as salami, pepperoni, and bacon—you may be consuming more sodium than you realize. Salt is often used in these foods to stop bacteria from growing and to increase the meat’s shelf life.

Buying low sodium lunch meats is a good first step. Another alternative is to cook up some chicken or lean beef, slice it thin, and use that for your wraps or sandwiches. Play around with seasonings to keep your taste buds from getting bored.

Limit Convenience Foods

Approximately 40% of the average American’s sodium intake comes from foods such as pizza, burgers, burritos, soup, and snacks. What do all of these have in common? They are convenience foods.

In a lot of cities, food items such as these can be found on almost every block. While that’s great if you’re hungry and have to eat on the go, it can easily push your sodium intake up to levels that are potentially harmful to your health.

Limit convenience food intake by packing your lunch or dinner when you know that you won’t have time to make and eat a lower-sodium meal. This gives you greater control over your intake while still meeting your body’s need to eat.

Buy Unsalted Nuts and Snacks

A lot of snack foods are salty, which can keep us reaching for more. One way to satisfy your urge to munch without exceeding healthy sodium recommendations is to purchase nuts and other snack items that are unsalted.

You can generally find these unsalted items right next to their full-salt counterparts. Making this one simple switch can help reduce your sodium intake, especially if you eat a lot of nuts or regularly like to snack.

Salt reduction

At the same time, as their eating patterns shift, people are consuming fewer fruits and vegetables and less dietary fibre (such as whole grains), which are key components of a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables contain potassium, which contributes to reduce blood pressure.

Salt in the diet can come from processed foods, either because they are particularly high in salt (such as ready meals, processed meats like bacon, ham and salami, cheese, salty snack foods, and instant noodles, among others) or because they are consumed frequently in large amounts (such as bread and processed cereal products). Salt is also added to food during cooking (bouillon and stock cubes) or at the table (soy sauce, fish sauce and table salt).

However, some manufacturers are reformulating recipes to reduce the salt content of their products and consumers should read food labels and choose products low in sodium.

Recommendations for salt reduction

  • For adults: WHO recommends that adults consume less than 5 g (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day (1).
  • For children: WHO recommends that the recommended maximum intake of salt for adults be adjusted downward for children aged two to 15 years based on their energy requirements relative to those of adults. This recommendation for children does not address the period of exclusive breastfeeding (0–6 months) or the period of complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding (6–24 months).
  • All salt that is consumed should be iodized or “fortified” with iodine, which is essential for healthy brain development in the fetus and young child and optimizing people’s mental function in general.

About salt, sodium and potassium

  • Sodium is an essential nutrient necessary for maintenance of plasma volume, acid-base balance, transmission of nerve impulses and normal cell function.
  • Excess sodium is linked to adverse health outcomes, including increased blood pressure.
  • The primary contributors to dietary sodium consumption depend on the cultural context and dietary habits of a population.
  • Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat and shellfish. It is often found in high amounts in processed foods such as breads, processed meat and snack foods, as well as in condiments (e.g. soy source, fish source).
  • Sodium is also contained in sodium glutamate, used as a food additive in many parts of the world.
  • Potassium is an essential nutrient needed for maintenance of total body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, and normal cell function.
  • Potassium is commonly found in a variety of unrefined foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
  • Increased potassium intake reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.

How to reduce salt in diets

Government policies and strategies should create environments that enable populations to consume adequate quantities of safe and nutritious foods that make up a healthy diet including low salt. Improving dietary habits is a societal as well as an individual responsibility. It demands a population-based, multisectoral, and culturally relevant approach.

Key broad strategies for salt reduction include:

  • government policies – including appropriate fiscal policies and regulation to ensure food manufacturers and retailers produce healthier foods or make healthy products available and affordable;
  • working with the private sector to improve the availability and accessibility of low-salt products;
  • consumer awareness and empowerment of populations through social marketing and mobilization to raise awareness of the need to reduce salt intake consumption;
  • creating an enabling environment for salt reduction through local policy interventions and the promotion of “healthy food” settings such as schools, workplaces, communities, and cities;
  • monitoring of population salt intake, sources of salt in the diet and consumer knowledge, attitudes and behaviours relating to salt to inform policy decisions.

Salt reduction programmes and programmes that promote fortification with micronutrients of salt, condiments or seasonings high in salt (bouillon cubes, soy and fish sauce) can complement each other.

Salt consumption at home can be reduced by:

  • not adding salt during the preparation of food;
  • not having a salt shaker on the table;
  • limiting the consumption of salty snacks;
  • choosing products with lower sodium content.

Other local practical actions to reduce salt intake include:

  • integrating salt reduction into the training curriculum of food handlers;
  • removing salt shakers and soy sauce from tables in restaurants; Introducing product or shelf labels making it clear that certain products are high in sodium;
  • providing targeted dietary advice to people visiting health facilities;
  • advocating for people to limit their intake of products high in salt and advocating that they reduce the amount of salt used for cooking; and
  • educating children and providing a supportive environment for children so that they start early with adopting low salt diets.

Actions by the food industry should include:

  • incrementally reducing salt in products over time so that consumers adapt to the taste and don’t switch to alternative products;
  • promoting the benefits of eating reduced salt foods through consumer awareness activities in food outlets;
  • reducing salt in foods and meals served at restaurants and catering outlets and labelling sodium content of foods and meals.

Misperceptions about salt reduction

  • “On a hot and humid day when you sweat, you need more salt in the diet:” There is little salt lost through sweat so there is no need for extra salt even on a hot and humid day, although it is important to drink a lot of water.
  • “Sea salt is not ‘better’ than manufactured salt simply because it is ‘natural.’” Regardless of the source of salt, it is the sodium in salt that causes bad health outcomes.
  • “Salt added during cooking is not the main source of salt intake.” In many countries, about 80% of salt in the diet comes from processed foods.
  • “Food does not need salt to have appealing flavour.” It takes some time for a person’s taste buds to adjust, but once they get used to less salt, one is more likely to enjoy food and notice a broader range of flavours.
  • “Food has no flavour without salt.” Whilst this may be true at first, taste buds soon become accustomed to less salt and you are more likely to enjoy food with less salt, and more flavour.
  • “Foods high in salt taste salty.” Some foods that are high in salt don’t taste very salty because sometimes they are mixed with other things like sugars that mask the taste. It is important to read food labels to find out sodium levels.
  • “Only old people need to worry about how much salt they eat:” Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure at any age.
  • “Reducing salt could be bad for my health:” It’s very difficult to eat too little salt since there are so many everyday foods containing salt.

WHO response

WHO guidelines on sodium and potassium provide thresholds for healthy intake. The guidelines also outline measures for improving diets and preventing NCDs in adults and children.

The “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health” was adopted in 2004 by the World Health Assembly (WHA). It calls on governments, WHO, international partners, the private sector and civil society to take action at global, regional and local levels to support healthy diets and physical activity.

In 2010, the WHA endorsed a set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children. These guide countries in designing new policies and strengthening existing ones to reduce the impact on children of the marketing of unhealthy food. WHO is also helping develop a nutrient profile model that countries can use as a tool to implement the marketing recommendations.

In 2011, world leaders committed to reducing people’s exposure to unhealthy diets. The commitment was made through a Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.

In 2012, the WHA adopted six global nutrition targets, including the reduction of stunting, wasting and overweight in children, the improvement of breastfeeding and the reduction of anaemia and low birth weight.

In 2013, the WHA agreed 9 global voluntary targets for the prevention and control of NCDs, which include a halt to the rise in diabetes and obesity and a 30% relative reduction in the intake of salt by 2025. The \”Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020\” gives guidance and a menu of policy options for Member States, WHO and other UN agencies to achieve the targets.\r\n

With many countries now seeing a rapid rise in obesity among infants and children, WHO in May 2014 set up a commission on childhood obesity. The Commission will draw up a report for 2015 specifying which approaches and actions are likely to be most effective in different contexts around the world.

(1) These recommendations apply to all individuals, with or without high blood pressure (including pregnant and lactating women), except individuals with illnesses or those taking drug therapy that may lead to low sodium levels or acute build-up of body water, or require physician-supervised diets (e.g. patients with heart failure and those with type I diabetes). In these subpopulations, there may be a particular relationship between sodium intake and the health outcomes sought.(WHO. Guideline: Sodium intake for adults and children, 2012).

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10 Ways To Reduce Sodium | Food Network Healthy Eats: Recipes, Ideas, and Food News

Nine out of 10 Americans eat too much salt. It’s estimated that 77 percent of our salt comes from processed and restaurant foods. If your goal is to eat less salt, here are 10 simple ways to do it.

#1: Use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned

One-half cup of canned vegetables has about 15 percent of your daily sodium requirements. This is no surprise since sodium is used to preserve canned food. Instead, choose fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible. If you’re stuck on the convenience of canned veggies, low sodium varieties are also available.

#2: Make your own potato chips

Chips are brimming with salt, but luckily you can make your own in a snap! My kids and chip-addicted husband loved
Ellie’s Cracked Pepper Potato Chips. You can always adjust the spices to your liking.

#3: Consider condiment substitutes

Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other condiments are brimming with sodium. Low-sodium versions are available, you can also try adding sodium-free flavor enhancers like vinegar or citrus juices like lime, pineapple, lemon and orange.  Another option:
make your own condiments like ketchup, mustard and tartar sauce.

#4: Go easy on the canned spaghetti sauce

One half cup of jarred tomato sauce packs in almost 25 percent of your daily dose of sodium. Most folks use double or triple that amount to coat their pasta! Instead look for “no salt added” versions or
make your own tomato sauce.

#5: Cook more

Forgo the frozen dinners which have around 25 to 67 percent of your daily sodium recommendations. Even kid-sized frozen meals have about 34 percent of their daily recommended amounts of sodium. Lower sodium versions exist, but that doesn’t remove the laundry list of preservatives added to them. Don’t think dining out is any better- many restaurants pile on the salt. Instead, set a goal to cook more at home where you have the most control over the ingredients.

#6: Replace bottled with homemade salad dressing

Bottled salad dressings are a hidden source of sodium. Many are also high in sugar and fat. Lighter salad dressings exist, but many replace fat and salt with higher amounts of sugar (yuck!). Instead,
make your own salad dressing in minutes.

#7: Swap canned broth

Do you find yourself tossing money buying tons of canned or boxed broths and stocks? Make it a weekend project to
cook up a batch and freeze half to use later. Use it to flavor soup, grains, and other recipes that call for broth or stock.

#8: Choose dried beans

Instead of canned varieties, choose dried with virtually no sodium. If you’re a canned bean fan, then you’ll be happy to hear that a
recent study showed that rinsing and draining canned beans reduced their sodium content by 41 percent!

#9: Use fresh herbs and spices

Resist the urge to reach for the salt shaker or spices like onion salt or garlic salt. Instead, choose fresh herbs and spices to flavor food. They’re practically sodium-free and add tons of flavor.

#10: Try Juicing

A cup of vegetable juice cocktail packs in almost one-third of your daily recommended amount of sodium. Instead,
make your own favorite veggie juice combinations without worrying about the salt.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

Tips for a lower salt diet


If you have read up on salt facts, you’ll know that too much salt can cause raised blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The following tips can help you cut down on salt.

You don’t have to add salt to your food to eat too much of it – around 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.

Remember, whether you’re eating at home, cooking or eating out, don’t add salt to your food automatically – taste it first.

Many people add salt out of habit, but it’s often unnecessary and your food will taste good without it

Shop for lower salt foods

When shopping for food, you can take steps to cut your salt intake:

  • Compare nutrition labels on food packaging when buying everyday items. You can really cut your salt intake by checking the label and choosing the pizza, ketchup or breakfast cereal that’s lower in salt. Try choosing 1 food a week to check and swap when you’re food shopping.
  • Go for reduced-salt unsmoked back bacon. Cured meats and fish can be high in salt, so try to eat these less often.
  • Buy tinned vegetables without added salt. Do the same with tinned pulses.
  • Watch out for the salt content in ready-made pasta sauces. Tomato-based sauces are often lower in salt than cheesy sauces or those containing olives, bacon or ham.
  • For healthier snacks, choose fruit or vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks. If you are going to have crisps or crackers, check the label and choose the ones lower in salt. Don’t forget to check the fat and sugars content, too.
  • Go easy on soy sauce, mustard, pickles, mayonnaise and other table sauces, as these can all be high in salt.

Cook with less salt

Many people add salt to food when they’re cooking. But there are lots of ways to add flavour to your cooking without using any salt.

Check out these salt alternatives:

  • Use black pepper as seasoning instead of salt. Try it on pasta, scrambled egg, pizza, fish and soup.
  • Add fresh herbs and spices to pasta dishes, vegetables and meat. Try garlic, ginger, chilli and lime in stir fries.
  • Make your own stock and gravy instead of using cubes or granules, or look out for reduced-salt products.
  • Try baking or roasting vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, fennel, parsnips and squash to bring out their flavour.
  • Make sauces using ripe tomatoes and garlic.

Eating out: salt tips

If you’re eating in a restaurant or cafe, or ordering a takeaway, you can still eat less salt by making smart choices of lower-salt foods.

Pizza: choose vegetable or chicken toppings instead of pepperoni, bacon or extra cheese.

Pasta dishes: choose one with a tomato sauce with vegetables or chicken, rather than bacon, cheese or sausage.

Burgers: avoid toppings that can be high in salt, such as bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce, and opt for salad instead.

Chinese or Indian meal: go for plain rice. It’s lower in salt than pilau or egg fried rice.

Sandwiches: instead of ham or cheddar cheese, go for fillings such as chicken, egg, mozzarella, or vegetables like avocado or roasted peppers. And try having salad and reduced-fat mayonnaise instead of pickle or mustard, which are usually higher in salt.

Breakfast: instead of a full English breakfast, go for a poached egg on toast with mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. If you do have meat, have either bacon or a sausage, but not both.

Salad: ask for dressings or sauces on the side, so you only have as much as you need. Some dressings and sauces can be high in salt and fat.

You can learn more about salt and your diet in Salt: the facts.

Soluble vitamin supplements or painkillers

If you routinely take a dissolvable (effervescent) vitamin supplement or effervescent painkillers, it’s worth remembering that these can contain up to 1g of salt per tablet.

You may want to consider changing to a non-effervescent tablet, particularly if you have been advised to watch or reduce your salt intake.

Page last reviewed: 8 June 2018
Next review due: 8 June 2021

Salt – Better Health Channel

Salt is a chemical compound (electrolyte) made up of sodium and chloride. It is commonly used to preserve and flavour foods and is the main source of sodium in our diet. 

A small amount of sodium is important for good health as it helps to maintain the correct volume of circulating blood and tissue fluids in the body. However, most people consume much more sodium than they need.

The kidneys are the main regulators of sodium levels in the body. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and many other health conditions. On the other hand, if sodium levels drop too low, the hormone aldosterone is released, and this increases the amount of sodium held in the body by reducing the amount lost in urine. 

Excessive sodium loss is very rare, but low sodium levels in the body can be dangerous if not treated. 

Australians eat too much salt

The average Australian consumes almost double the amount of sodium they need for good health.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) advises that Australian adults should aim to consume no more than one teaspoon (5 grams) of salt a day (or 2,000mg of sodium a day) in order to prevent chronic disease. 

Aiming for less than this is perfectly okay too. An adult body only needs around 1 – 2g of salt (460 – 920mg sodium) per day to function.

Salt intake above 2,000mg per day is associated with high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for kidney disease and cardiovascular disease (such as heart disease and stroke).

Recommended salt intake for Australian children

Australian children are eating too much salt too. In fact, almost three quarters of Victorian school children are eating more than the recommended amount. This can lead to lifelong unhealthy eating habits and have a negative effect on children’s blood pressure. This can lead to heart attacks and strokes in the future.

Generally, infants and children need less salt than adults

The recommended daily sodium intake for children varies depending on their age, as follows:

  • 1 – 3 years (200 – 400mg/day)
  • 4 – 8 years (300 – 600mg/day)
  • 9 – 13 years (400 – 800mg/day)
  • 14 – 18 years (460 – 920mg/day)

It is best to stick to a healthy diet – many healthy, everyday foods contain minimal salt (such as vegetables and fruit, most dairy and fresh meats). 

High sodium intake and blood pressure 

The relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure is well established. Populations with a high average salt intake have higher average and higher levels of hypertension (high blood pressure). Australians consume nearly double the amount of sodium that is recommended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Reducing the amount of salt you have will lower high blood pressure – the extent depends on your age, current blood pressure and other factors such as the amount of exercise you do, body weight, stress and alcohol intake. 

People with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease and those who are older or overweight are particularly susceptible to the effect of too much sodium on blood pressure.

There is strong evidence that sodium reduction lowers blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure and good evidence that consuming a diet low in sodium reduces blood pressure in children.

High sodium intake and other health conditions

Excessive sodium intake has also been linked to other conditions, such as:

A high level of salt intake increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine, which may also contribute to osteoporosis and increased risk of fracture.

The balance of sodium and water in the body can also be disrupted if there is not enough water. This may be caused by a damaged thirst mechanism or by limited access to water. Hypernatremia is a very serious condition that occurs when your sodium levels rise above 145 milliequivalents per litre (mEq/L). It can lead to death. A major symptom is thirst and treatment usually involve controlled water replacement.

Salt loss (hyponatremia)

The body loses salt through urine, perspiration, vomiting and diarrhoea. If too much salt is lost, the level of fluid in the blood will drop. Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the sodium in your blood falls below the normal range of 135–145 mEq/L. In severe cases, low sodium levels in the body can lead to muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Eventually, lack of salt can lead to shock, coma and death.

Severe salt loss is very unlikely to happen because our diets contain more than enough salt. The only time this is likely to occur is when someone has acute gastroenteritis (causing vomiting and diarrhoea), severe sweating or water intoxication (from drinking too much water).

Muscle cramps need water not salt

Some people believe that salt needs be replaced during hot weather or strenuous exercise to avoid muscle cramps. This is not correct. What you need to replace is water. 

The human body can happily survive on just one gram of salt a day, as hormones keep a check on sodium levels and make adjustments for hot weather. A genuine sodium shortage brought on by hot weather or exercise is extremely rare, even among hard-working athletes.

The muscle cramps that sometimes follow a bout of sweating are due to dehydration, not lack of salt. To prevent cramps, drink plenty of water on hot days and before, during and after exercise. This will also help to even out the water–sodium ratio in the body.

Sodium and potassium in the body

Potassium is important for the nerves, muscles and heart to work properly. It also helps to lower blood pressure. However, some people with kidney disease, or who are taking some medications, need to be careful not to get too much potassium in their diet.

Our bodies are designed for a high-potassium diet, not a high-salt diet. Food processing tends to lower the potassium levels in many foods while increasing the sodium content. It is much better to eat unprocessed foods such as fruit, vegetables and lean meats, eggs, fish and other healthy, everyday foods. 

When selecting processed everyday foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, select lower salt options. Foods high in potassium include bananas, apricots, mushrooms and spinach.

Sodium in food

Many foods – wholegrains, meat and dairy products – naturally contain small amounts of sodium, while highly processed foods tend to contain large amounts.

Some foods contain more than you may expect. For example:

  • A jam sandwich has only 30% less salt than a vegemite sandwich, because most of the salt comes from the bread.
  • Sea salt, onion, celery or garlic salts are not low-sodium substitutes.
  • A bowl of cornflakes has about the same amount of salt as a small packet of plain chips.
  • Some sweet biscuits contain as much or more salt than savoury biscuits.
  • Ricotta, cottage, mozzarella and Swiss cheeses are lower in salt than most other cheeses.

How to reduce salt in your diet

Your taste buds adapt to lower salt levels in a matter of weeks, so gradually reducing salt is a key factor to success.

To reduce the amount of salt in your diet, slowly reduce your intake (over several weeks). Then eventually try to completely avoid adding salt at the table, and when cooking or preparing meals.

Reduce salt when eating, cooking or preparing meals


  • Using dry or fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme, dill, basil or a dry herb mix to add flavour.
  • Using spices and other flavour enhancers like garlic and chili.
  • Lemon or lime juices are excellent flavour enhancers and often make meats more tender.
  • Experiment with small amounts and use a recipe book to get ideas on what flavours go well together. (For example, curry powder enhances the flavour of potatoes or eggs, and vegetables go nicely with balsamic vinegar and olive oil).
  • If you currently use quite a lot of salt in cooking or at the table, reducing this is even more important. For the average person, this accounts for around 25% of their total salt intake and is one easy action you can take to reduce your sodium intake. 
  • Some people believe sea salt is a healthier alternative to normal table salt, but both are composed of sodium chloride so are best avoided.
  • Avoid fast foods and takeaway foods that are high in salt.
  • Ask for less salt when dining out – you may even like to provide feedback to businesses if their dishes appear salty).

Select foods with less hidden salt

While reducing the salt you add at the table and when cooking or preparing meals, you should also focus on selecting foods that contain less ‘hidden’ salt because this accounts for around 75% of all salt in most people’s diet. 

When shopping:

  • Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals – bread is a major source of sodium in the diet. 
  • Buy fresh vegetables or select lower sodium canned varieties.
  • Read food labels.
  • Choose products with low salt (less than 120mg sodium per100g) or ‘salt-free’ versions of commonly used foods (such as baked beans, margarine, commercial sauces, pre-prepared meals and other foods).
  • Choose unprocessed fresh wholefoods.
  • Reduce packaged and processed snack purchases.

Avoid high-salt, processed foods

Around 75 per cent of the salt in our diet comes from processed foods. You can’t see the added salt in these foods, which means often you are unaware of the amount of salt you are having. Many food companies are working to try and reduce the sodium content of processed foods. 

High-salt foods that should be eaten sparingly include:

  • Most ‘fast’ foods (such as pizza, hamburgers, chips)
  • Most snack foods (such as potato chips, corn chips)
  • Processed meats (such as sausages, salami, hot dogs and luncheon meats)
  • Dehydrated or packet foods (such as instant pasta, noodles or soups)
  • Pre-packaged sauces and condiments (such as pickles, chutneys, soy sauce and tomato-based paste and sauces).


Our bodies need iodine to make sure our thyroid gland and the hormones that regulate our metabolism work normally. Most bread in Australia and New Zealand is now required by law to use iodised salt in place of non-iodised salt, although bread labelled as ‘organic’ is exempt.

It is expected that this will make sure most Australian adults and children will consume enough iodine to meet their needs. This may not be the case for pregnant and breastfeeding women, who may need a dietary supplement. Low iodine status in the mother can affect the brain development of their child.

Another good way to make sure you get enough iodine is to eat seafood at least once a week. However, some types of fish contain high levels of mercury, which is dangerous to a developing foetus. If you are pregnant, take care when choosing fish to eat to reduce your risk.

People who are not getting enough iodine from their diet may need a vitamin supplement. Seek advice from your doctor or a dietitian.

Where to get help

9 Tips for Reducing Sodium in Your Everyday Diet

A little sodium is usually safe for most people, but nobody should be overdoing it with the salt shaker. That’s especially true for older Americans. And, unfortunately, sodium is seemingly in every type of food, which makes it difficult to minimize your intake. 

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day and says 1,500 mg of sodium per day is a healthier choice. That’s usually pretty tough for most folks without some serious changes to their diet.

How to Reduce the Sodium Intake in Your Diet

If you’re looking to reduce sodium in your everyday diet, consider these nine tips:

1. Read the Nutrition Label

Food manufacturers are required to display the amount of sodium on food packaging. Before you purchase your groceries, check the nutrition labels to see how much sodium a serving contains. Some foods, such as cottage cheese, have a high amount of sodium but do not taste salty. So don’t rely on taste alone.

2. Opt for Fresh Meats

Packaged, processed meats can contain more sodium than their fresh counterparts. While fresh meat does contain natural sodium, it’s usually much less than packaged meats. If you do purchase packaged meat, opt for the lower sodium varieties. (Hint: if a processed meat keeps longer than a few days or up to a few weeks, it’s probably high in sodium.)

Also beware of packaging. Some brands inject their meat with saline solution to add flavor and weight. This should be printed on the package, so make sure you read the disclaimers before you purchase.

3. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables

Canned goods offer convenience, but often at the price of high sodium. Fresh fruits and vegetables are straight from the farm and do not contain any added ingredients, such as sodium. If that isn’t possible, frozen fruits and vegetables are generally better than canned.

4. Compare various brands of the same product

The amount of sodium in a particular product can vary between manufacturers. Check the food label on several brands to ensure you’re getting one with a lower amount of sodium.

5. Buy low sodium products

Salt is not a necessity. Rather, it’s something that enhances flavor. Studies show that it takes 6-8 weeks to “unlearn” your preference for salt. Once you do, however, it becomes more difficult to eat salty foods because your body isn’t used to the salty flavor.

6. Avoid dining out

Cooking at home means you can (somewhat) control the amount of sodium in your meals. Restaurants, however, may add unnecessary sodium and other ingredients to your meal. This is especially harmful if you add salt once your meal arrives.

7. Substitute with zero-sodium seasonings

The whole purpose of salt is to add flavor to a dish, right? You have plenty of seasoning options (other than salt) that can add flavor without adding sodium. For instance, try substituting dried herbs instead.

8. Steer clear from condiments

Flavor-boosting foods like ketchup, salad dressing and mustard might not taste salty, but can pack a hefty amount of sodium in each serving. If you can live without condiments, do so.

9. Drain and rinse canned goods

When you crack open a can of beans or vegetables, drain the water and rinse the contents. Food producers often add salt to the water before canning to add flavor. Discarding the water from the can and adding your own can cut your sodium intake by about 40%.

Health and Nutrition at Five Star Senior Living

When in doubt, talk to your doctor to determine which foods are safe for your low sodium diet, and which ones should be avoided at all costs. Older adults, in particular, should watch their sodium intake. 

At Five Star Senior Living, meals are prepared according to healthy guidelines, including low-sodium choices. Residents enjoy meals that are not only delicious but healthy as well. 

Come see for yourself! Call to schedule a tour and see what our Signature Dining is all about. 

90,000 Is undersalting as harmful as oversalting?

  • Jessica Brown
  • BBC Future

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Some scientists have argued that a low salt diet can be just as harmful as a high salt intake. And how really?

As soon as a popular Turkish chef posted a video on the Internet of lovingly salting a huge steak last year, he immediately received the nickname “Salt Bey”.

What attracted the attention of millions to this video? Culinary arts? Or the fact that the chef ignored the recommendations of nutritionists “do not oversalt”?

We love salt – despite warnings from experts that we consume too much of it and thereby harm our health.

But more and more counter-arguments are being heard that cast doubt on the results of decades of research while trying to clarify long-standing questions about our favorite condiment.

The key element of food or table salt is sodium, without which a normal fluid balance in our body is impossible. In the form of various salts, it is part of the blood, lymph and digestive juices, delivering oxygen and nutrients to all organs. In the form of a positively charged ion, sodium activates the processes of nervous excitement, contraction of muscle fibers and other reactions.

In short, sodium is important to us. But over the centuries, people have consumed much more salt than is recommended.

This is why the advice of nutritionists and health officials around the world follows: Eat less salt!

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Blue cheeses contain more salt than sea water – 2.7 grams per 100 grams of cheese

Adults are advised to consume no more than six grams of salt per day. Meanwhile, the UK consumes roughly eight grams a day, while the US consumes 8.5 grams.

However, only a quarter of our daily consumption comes from the salt that we ourselves add to our food.The rest is hidden in the products we buy – including breads, sauces, soups and semi-finished cereals.

The fact that manufacturers often do not write the word “salt” on the labels, preferring “sodium”, only confuses, creating the illusion that we do not eat much salt.

Common salt crystals are composed of sodium and chlorine ions. 2.5 grams of salt contains about 1 gram of sodium. “People usually don’t know about it and just think that salt and sodium are the same thing. Nobody explains to you,” says nutritionist May Simpkin.

Studies have found that consuming too much salt raises blood pressure, which can lead to stroke and cardiovascular disease – on this issue, experts now almost agree on this issue, evidence of the harm of salt is clear.

Our body retains water when we eat salt, thereby increasing blood pressure until the kidneys remove it from the body.

Consuming too much salt over time adds stress to the arteries and can lead to hypertension, which is responsible for 62% of strokes and 49% of attacks of coronary heart disease (according to the World Health Organization).

One meta-analysis of 13 scientific studies published over the past 35 years found that eating an additional 5 grams of salt each day increases our risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17% and increases the risk of stroke by 23%.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

A large glass of popcorn (about 250 g), which we take with us to the cinema, can contain about 5 g of salt – almost a day’s dose recommended by experts

And, as possible expect a reduction in salt intake to have the opposite effect.In one study of eight years of blood pressure data, researchers found that reducing salt intake by just 1.4 grams per day appeared to lower blood pressure – which in turn led to a 42% decrease in the likelihood of a fatal stroke. outcome and reduced the number of deaths from heart disease by 40%.

At the same time, scientists concluded that it is extremely difficult to distinguish the effect of salt among other risk factors – an unhealthy diet in general, an unhealthy lifestyle, etc.

The fact is that people who pay attention to how much salt in their diet, as a rule, generally care more about healthy food, try to exercise their bodies, not smoke or abuse alcohol.

Long-term randomized trials comparing people with high and low salt intakes would help establish cause and effect. But due to funding difficulties and ethical barriers, there is very little such research.

According to Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology at the University of Warwick School of Medicine, such studies are almost impossible: “This is why there is no such study on obesity or smoking, which we know kills.”

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

One serving of the popular miso soup contains 2.7 g of salt

Meanwhile, there is more than enough empirical data. After the Japanese government launched a campaign to persuade citizens to eat less salt in the late 1960s, salt consumption dropped from 13.5 grams to 12 grams per day. Over the same period, people experienced a drop in blood pressure and an 80% reduction in stroke deaths.

In Finland, daily salt intake fell from 12g in the late 1970s to 9g by 2002, and deaths from stroke and cardiovascular disease fell by 75-80%.

Less salt – more risk? Different sensitivity to salt

But there is a factor that complicates such a seemingly simple and clear picture.

Salt intake affects different people in different ways, their blood pressure and heart health.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

Two pieces of nigiri sushi contain about 5 grams of salt, and one tablespoon of soy sauce adds an additional 2.2 grams

Studies have found that salt sensitivity varies from person to person and depends on a variety of factors – nationality, age, body mass index, general health and heredity in terms of hypertension.

In a number of cases, scientists have concluded that those of us who are more sensitive to salt are at greater risk.

It’s gotten to the point where some researchers now argue that a low-salt diet is as much a risk factor as a high-salt intake.

For example, one meta-analysis of data from different studies found an association between low salt intake and cardiovascular disorders and death from them.

Researchers claim that eating less than 5.6 grams of salt and more than 12.5 grams per day is associated with negative health effects.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

Meat appetizers such as ham, roast beef or turkey contain approximately 1.5 grams of salt per serving. Adds salt and bread

Another study of more than 170,000 people showed similar results, finding a link between low salt intake (less than 7.5 grams per day) and an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders and death due to them – and as in people with high blood pressure, and with normal – compared with moderate consumption (up to 12.5 g per day, that is, between 1.5 and 2.5 teaspoons of salt).

Note that this is “moderate consumption” – about twice the recommended intake in the UK.

Lead author of this study, Andrew Ment, an epidemiologist and nutritionist at McMaster University of Ontario, Canada, concludes that lowering high to moderate salt intake reduces the risk of high blood pressure, but does not have any other health benefits. And raising your salt intake from low to moderate can also be beneficial.

“What we’ve learned about optimal salt intake is consistent with how any other important nutrient works,” he says.- A high level of it is toxic, and a low level creates a deficiency in the body. The optimal consumption level is always somewhere in the middle. “

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Although the cake tastes rather sweet, it also has enough salt

However, not everyone agrees with Andrew Ment.

Cappuccio sticks to the point view that reducing salt intake lowers blood pressure in almost everyone, not just those who eat too much. , and these studies relied on the wrong data – including Ment’s study, which used fasting urine tests on a randomized basis, rather than adhering to the “gold standard” of multiple tests throughout the day.

Sarah Stanner, scientific director of the British Nutrition Foundation, agrees that the evidence that lowering salt intake in hypertensive patients leads to lower blood pressure and lower risk of heart disease is overwhelming.

And there are not many people who consume less than three grams of salt a day – a level that Ment’s study calls dangerously low.

This level is difficult to achieve given the salt content of the products we buy, stresses Stanner.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

A 100-gram slice of pepperoni pizza can contain up to 1.9 grams of salt

“We consume so much salt in the foods we eat every day,” she says. it is important to clearly state the amount of salt on the labels of all products in supermarkets. ”

Experts are also not yet able to agree on whether an otherwise healthy lifestyle, with a healthy diet and exercise, can somehow reduce the effects of high salt intake on the body.

Some, including Stanner, believe that a diet high in potassium (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy) can help overcome the negative effects of salt on blood pressure.

“A healthy person must be able to handle small amounts of salt,” says Sue Matheus, senior professor of health economics at Lancaster University.

“You just have to keep in mind that a lot of salt is very bad.But it is also not worth excluding it from the diet completely either. “

In general, despite the fact that the authors of several recent studies claim that low salt intake has its dangers, and everyone has their own” salt sensitivity “, the most solid data say : Too high salt intake definitely raises blood pressure

As for the rest of the findings … As for me, they are too undersalted

To read the original of this article in English, please visit BBC Future .

Article on the topic “water purification from sodium is necessary if it is too much”

Water, passing through igneous rocks, consisting of chlorine-containing minerals and saline deposits, dissolves chlorides, that is, hydrochloric acid salts, which are most often found in the form of sodium, magnesium and calcium salts. Their large amount in ground and artesian waters is due not only to volcanic emissions, but also as a result of the cycle – saturation of atmospheric precipitation when passing through the soil and then exchanging through the atmosphere with the ocean.An increased sodium content can be observed due to the washing out of soluble compounds with chlorine or sodium chloride from layers in contact with water. Therefore, it becomes unsuitable neither for economic and technical needs, nor for irrigation in agriculture. Therefore, water purification from sodium is required. It is clear that salt water has an increased maximum permissible concentration of salts of the chloride group, and their cationic composition is represented by sodium, which forms table salt with chlorine, which provides it with a salty taste.Consequently, sodium enters tap water in the following ways: passing through rocks and dissolving sodium carbonate, sulfate and chloride salts, from industrial and domestic wastewater, from irrigated fields. Most often, all salt waters contain the most sodium chloride relative to other salts, and therefore experts recommend installing water purification systems for the home. If magnesium chloride predominates, then it has a bitter-salty taste.

BWT water demineralization solutions:

With an excessive concentration of chlorides and, accordingly, sodium can be observed:

  • irritation of the mucous membrane of the eyes, skin, respiratory tract;
  • impairs digestion and negatively affects gastric secretion;
  • in the body, the water-salt balance is disturbed;
  • diseases of the circulatory system may develop;
  • there is a possibility of neoplasms of the genitourinary organs, stomach, esophagus and other digestive organs;
  • gall and urolithiasis may occur;
  • increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
    • significantly increases the corrosion of metal surfaces and parts of household appliances;
    • sediment appears on the heating elements of kettles, washing machines and dishwashers, boilers, which contributes to their premature failure.

    Different trace elements are necessary for each cell and for the whole organism. Sodium is a trace element that plays an important role in the formation of gastric juice; with its participation, the excretion of human waste products by the kidneys is regulated. It contributes to the normal water-salt balance in cells, normalizes neuromuscular activity. It ensures that minerals in the blood remain in a soluble state and prevents the movement of fluid from the blood vessels to the adjacent tissues.It is known that the human body is not adapted to produce sodium on its own, so its supply must be replenished from various natural sources, such as water. The kidneys provide a balanced sodium content. Excessive content of it can cause diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, neurosis. At the same time, there is increased excitability, hyperactivity, impressionability, in some cases, excessive thirst, sweating, and frequent urination are observed.

    Purification of water from sodium in domestic conditions is necessary if there is an excess of it.Sodium concentration in drinking water should not exceed 200 mg / l. After all, its excess in the body contributes to an increase in blood pressure and, accordingly, the accumulation of fluid and the formation of edema, and also depletes the reserves of potassium, which is necessary for the stable operation of the cardiovascular system.

    There are two main methods of salt water purification – ion exchange method and reverse osmosis of water. The ion exchange method has the following advantages: obtaining high quality water, the ability to work with a sharply changing composition of the feed water, low energy and capital costs, low consumption for own needs, especially for counterflow filters.Disadvantages: a decent consumption of reagents, and as a result, an increase in operating costs in proportion to the salt content, depending on the composition of the source water, in some cases, very complex additional preparation is required.

    Purification using water demineralization technology has many advantages: obtaining highly purified water, low energy consumption, unlimited productivity, reliability, low operating costs and membrane regeneration costs.Disadvantages: the need for thorough additional water treatment, the continuity of the equipment is mandatory, but very significant capital costs for the equipment.

    90,000 Salty Fants: Healthy Foods With Dangerous Salt | Articles

    The Ministry of Health intends to halve the daily intake of salt – to 5 grams. And this is a worldwide trend. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eating less than 5 grams of salt per day will reduce the number of cardiovascular diseases.What is the danger of excessive love for salt and in what unexpected products it is contained in critical quantities, Izvestia tells.

    Salt in the diet is essential. Sodium and chlorine included in its composition help to maintain the water balance in the body. Sodium ions are used to conduct electrical impulses in nerve cells, with their help, the blood is saturated with glucose and amino acids. Chlorine ions are part of hydrochloric acid, which is formed in gastric juice. In addition, when it comes to iodized salt, it is the most readily available source of iodine.And it is needed for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

    However, overloading the body with salt leads to the development of a whole bunch of diseases. The most common among them are cardiovascular, from which, according to WHO, 1.7 million people die every year. Excess salt leads to hypertension. Because of it, thirst develops, and the more a person drinks, the stronger the pressure on the walls of blood vessels – blood pressure depends on the amount of water in the body. When this happens regularly, the renin-aldosterone mechanism that regulates this process begins to work worse, and the pressure on the vessel walls becomes constant.Hence the risk of strokes.

    Excess salt leads to hypertension. Because of it, thirst develops, and the more a person drinks, the stronger the pressure on the walls of blood vessels

    Photo: Depositphotos

    In addition, excess salt leads to osteoporosis, aggravates asthma symptoms and increases the risk of kidney stones. Excessive love of salty foods can also lead to sleep disturbances and is thought to be one of the causes of stomach cancer.

    However, exceeding the salt dosage recommended by the Ministry of Health (and 5 grams is less than one teaspoon without top) can be completely eliminated from the diet. Salt is found not only in pickles and marinades, but also in fresh, extremely healthy and even sweet foods.

    Bread and pastries

    Bread is one of the record holders for salt content among unsalted products. It is prepared using sodium-rich baking soda and baking powder. One teaspoon of baking soda contains 1.2 mg of salt, and one spoon of baking powder contains 480 mg.

    In the first place in terms of the amount of salt among breads, seemingly healthy rye. It contains about 0.5 grams of salt per 100 grams, in wheat it is half as much. Thus, a typical rye bread slice weighing about 35 grams contains 3% of the maximum daily value of salt.

    Bread – one of the record holders for salt content among unsalted products

    Photo: Izvestia / Artem Korotaev

    The situation is even worse with baked goods, including sweet donuts and pies.They contain not only an excess of sugar, but also salt. In order to extend the shelf life, in addition to the salt that goes into the dough according to the recipe, sodium is added as a preservative. So, one bagel contains 560 mg of salt, which is already more than 11% of the recommended amount of salt per day.


    A seemingly healthy and at the same time sweet breakfast, especially with milk rich in calcium, is actually full of salt. In 100 grams of various brands of corn flakes, there are 600 to 700 mg of sodium chloride.The problem, besides the recipe, is in the corn flour itself, which contains a lot of sodium. It is also found in cow’s milk – about 120 mg per 100 grams.

    So after a large plate of such a breakfast in the morning, you can skip salt for the whole day. Nutritionists recommend eliminating cornflakes altogether, like sweet muesli, from the diet. Including because of the impressive amount of sugar, which leads to imperceptible weight gain. Or at least mix sweet flakes with puffed corn or rice.They do not contain salt.

    Cottage cheese

    Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and protein, for which he is loved by adherents of a healthy diet. With a relatively low calorie content, it allows you to maintain these substances in the body at the desired level. Half a cup of cottage cheese contains about 15 grams of protein and only 80 calories. True, along with them you will have to eat almost 400 mg of sodium. So one cup of cottage cheese is almost a fifth of the acceptable, from the point of view of WHO, the amount of salt in the daily diet.

    So one cup of cottage cheese is almost a fifth of the acceptable, from the point of view of WHO, the amount of salt in the daily diet

    Photo: RIA Novosti / Sergey Pyatakov

    Cottage cheese of different brands differs in the amount of salt, so when buying, you should pay attention to the packaging.Or give up cottage cheese altogether in favor of unsweetened Greek yogurt. It contains on average eight times less sodium and is almost as rich in protein.

    Vegetarian Meat

    Another seemingly extremely healthy product rich in salt is soy meat. So, soy bacon contains 1.7 grams of sodium per 100 grams, sausages – 0.89 grams, chicken 0.7 grams.

    Perhaps this is due to the fact that manufacturers are trying to make the taste of meat substitutes richer. It is also worth remembering that vegetarian burgers are processed with chemicals during production.Soybeans use hexane, a byproduct of gasoline production, to separate proteins and fiber from oil. And if in a burger, besides soybeans, there are other vegetables, as a rule, they are supplied with sodium during production. And to this salt is added the one that is in the side dish.

    Nut mixtures

    Nuts themselves are not dangerous in terms of salt. Unless, of course, it is peanuts covered with salt, where there can be up to 770 mg of salt per 100 grams of nuts. However, you should stay away from nuts, even unsalted ones, besides mixed with raisins, candied fruits or dry bananas, collected in a pack.

    Manufacturers add salt to nut mixes to extend shelf life and enhance flavor

    Photos: Pixabay

    100 grams of store-bought nut mix contains 270 mg to 500 mg sodium. Manufacturers add salt to extend the shelf life and enhance the flavor. So, despite the amazing high cost of loose nuts, it is still worth making such mixtures yourself.

    Hot chocolate

    Hot chocolate is of dubious health value in any case.Even if you melt the stove in a water bath yourself, it is easy not to calculate the amount and get a drink with a high sugar content. And a regular overdose of sugar in the long term means problems with blood pressure, obesity, thinning of bones, accelerated aging of the skin and many more problems.

    Found in hot chocolate and sodium, especially when sold as a powder in sachets. One cup can contain up to 100 mg! Considering how much salt is in solid, even unsalted foods, this is too much for a drink.

    Vegetable juices

    Vegetable juices sold in stores are also extremely rich in salt. They contain 250 mg of salt per 100 ml. So one glass contains 10% of the maximum allowable dose. And all the benefits for the body from the concentrated consumption of vegetables are stopped by the load from such a charge of sodium. All that remains for lovers of juices who are attentive to their health, make them themselves or look for juices in stores without added salt.

    Vegetable juice per 100 ml may contain 250 mg of salt

    Photos: Pixabay

    The MOH recommendation for salt is optional, as industry experts have repeatedly emphasized.According to the chief freelance nutritionist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation Viktor Tutelyan, it is a kind of reference point that can be important both for consumers striving for a healthy lifestyle and for manufacturers. The recommendations of the Ministry of Health are taken into account when forming the consumer basket.


    Get tested for potassium, sodium, chlorine in the blood

    Method of determination
    Ion-selective, ion-selective electrodes (indirect method).

    Study material
    Blood serum

    Home visit available

    Online check-in

    Synonyms: Blood test for electrolytes; Serum electrolytes.Electrolyte Panel; Serum electrolyte test; Sodium, Potassium, Chloride; Na / K / Cl.

    Brief characteristics of the determined substances (Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine)

    Potassium (K +)

    The main intracellular cation.

    Potassium is involved in the creation and maintenance of ionic gradients and membrane potential of cells, in the mechanisms of excitation of nerve and muscle fibers. The concentration of K + inside cells is significantly higher than in the extracellular fluid. This ratio is maintained by the low permeability of the cell membrane for potassium and the work of Na + / K + -ATPase – a membrane “pump” that constantly pumps potassium into the cell.Plasma potassium is an important physiological constant. Hyperkalemia is associated with a risk of cardiac arrest. With hypokalemia, cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness, intestinal paresis, decreased reflexes, and hypotension develop. The concentration of K + in blood plasma is determined by the amount of the element coming from outside, the balance of potassium between cells and extracellular fluid and the level of its excretion from the body by the kidneys (as well as through the sweat glands and intestines). The potassium content in food can significantly change its concentration in the blood plasma, since the mechanisms for maintaining potassium homeostasis are rather slow.In the kidneys, it is filtered in the glomeruli, undergoes almost complete reabsorption in the proximal tubules, and is secreted in the distal regions. Excretion of K + by the kidneys depends on its concentration in the blood plasma, the level of the ureter in the distal tubules, the acid-base state and the effect of mineralocorticoids. A decrease in renal filtration (with a corresponding decrease in the distal ureter) leads to a decrease in the secretion of potassium and its retention in the body. Aldosterone causes an increase in K + secretion in the renal tubules (this is associated with the regulation of sodium balance).A change in blood pH affects the activity of Na + / K + -ATPase of cell membranes, leads to a change in the balance of potassium between blood cells and plasma: with acidosis, K + leaves the cells into the blood plasma, with alkalosis it enters the cells. The transfer of potassium into cells, parallel to the transport of glucose, causes an increase in insulin concentration. The mechanism of action of many diuretics, which stimulate increased sodium and water excretion, causes an increased loss of potassium in the urine. When making diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in cases of hyperkalemia, preanalytical errors should be excluded.Blood hemolysis associated with violations of the rules for taking blood leads to a false increase in plasma potassium. Long-term storage of a blood sample before centrifugation and separation of serum or blood plasma from the formed elements causes an increase in potassium in the sample due to its release from the cells. This process is much faster when the sample is stored in the refrigerator (lowering the temperature blocks the activity of Na + / K + -ATPase), as well as with significant leukocytosis and an extremely high number of platelets. An increase in potassium in a blood sample may be caused by anticoagulant contamination (potassium salts of EDTA and heparin).

    Sodium (Na +)

    The main cation contained in the extracellular space.

    The most important osmotically active component of the extracellular space, which is associated with the regulation of water distribution in the body and maintaining a normal volume of extracellular fluid. 96% of the total sodium in the body is found outside the cells. Changes in the concentration of Na + in the extracellular fluid cause a rapid redistribution of water, which leads to secondary changes in the volume of the extracellular fluid.Sodium is involved in the mechanisms of excitation of nerve and muscle cells, the formation of an alkaline reserve of blood. A decrease in its plasma level causes general weakness, and significant hyponatremia leads to the development of various neurological disorders. Sodium is supplied with food during a normal diet in excess amounts and is almost completely absorbed in the intestine; excess sodium is excreted by the kidneys. The kidneys are the main organ regulating sodium metabolism and the target of the action of diuretics, antihypertensive drugs.Na + ions are filtered in the renal glomeruli and then undergo controlled reabsorption in different parts of the renal tubules. The main regulators of sodium metabolism are the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone), atrial natriuretic hormone. Changes in sodium balance accompany many pathological conditions.

    Chlorine (Cl-)

    The main anion of the extracellular fluid.

    Together with sodium makes up the main part of osmotically active components of plasma.Chlorine ions play an important role in the distribution of water, in maintaining the osmotic pressure and acid-base state. The content of Cl- in the extracellular fluid is 40-50 times higher than its content in the cytoplasm of cells. It is the main anion of gastric secretions. With the loss of chlorides, alkalosis develops, with an excess, acidosis. Chlorine enters the body with food and is almost completely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. In the kidneys, chlorine ions are filtered in the glomeruli, then reabsorbed in the tubules – passively, following sodium, as well as by the mechanisms of active transport.Its excretion in the urine changes under the action of endogenous factors and drugs that affect the renal reabsorption of sodium and water, as well as under conditions associated with changes in the acid-base state. The content of Cl- in the blood normally changes in parallel with the change in the sodium content, an isolated change in the concentration of chlorides is observed with violations of the acid-base state.

    What is the purpose of determining the levels of Potassium, Sodium and Chlorine in the blood

    Sodium, potassium, chlorine are among the main plasma electrolytes.The test is used to detect electrolyte imbalance in various pathological conditions and to monitor treatment.


    1. Alan G.B. – 2013 .– T. 1280.
    2. Dolgov V. V., Menshikov V. V. Clinical laboratory diagnostics. National leadership // M .: GEOTAR-Media. – 2016 .– S. 688.
    3. Burtis C. A., Ashwood E. R., Bruns D. E. Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry and molecular diagnostics-e-book. – Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012.
    4. Materials of the manufacturer of reagents.

    Blood electrolytes

    Electrolytes – are mineral compounds that are capable of conducting electrical charges. Being in tissues and blood in the form of salt solutions, they help to move nutrients into cells and remove metabolic products from cells, maintain their water balance and the required level of acidity.

    Potassium is an important component of most cells. Together with other electrolytes, potassium ions are responsible for the functioning of muscles and nerves, normal acid-base balance, and water metabolism. The blood contains only a small amount of macronutrient, even minor fluctuations in its level lead to serious consequences. Significant deviations from the norm can lead to life-threatening conditions (shock, heart failure, respiratory failure, etc.).The normal potassium concentration is 3.5-5.1 mmol / liter.

    Sodium is found in all tissues and body fluids. It is necessary for muscle contraction, maintenance of water-salt balance. The macronutrient is absorbed in the intestines from ordinary table salt. Deviations of its normal level are associated with a violation of one of the mechanisms for its maintenance. For example, the normal sodium concentration is disrupted if the antidiuretic hormone, which prevents fluid loss in the urine, is produced in abnormal amounts.Violation of the amount of this electrolyte leads to the appearance of edema or dehydration, as the amount of fluid in the tissues changes. Sodium analysis is used in the diagnosis of many diseases (for example, pathologies of the kidneys, lungs, brain).

    Chlorine is a part of many biologically active substances, performs a number of physiological functions. Its level is normally relatively stable (a slight decrease in indicators is observed after eating). A chlorine test is often prescribed in conjunction with other studies to identify various pathologies.Its results are also used to establish the cause of weakness, prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory distress.

    Ionized calcium . Significant fluctuations in its level are fraught with heart rhythm disturbances (tachycardia or bradycardia), impaired clarity of consciousness, muscle spasms. In some cases, such fluctuations can cause coma.
    Changes in indicators during the day are normal. The maximum concentration of the macronutrient is observed at the end of the day, and in the morning it is reduced.The amount of Ca may deviate from the norm in women who use oral or injectable contraceptives. In older people, its amount is significantly reduced. Certain medications can have a significant impact on test results. It is important to inform the doctor who will evaluate the results of the analysis about taking any medications. Both a deficiency and an overabundance of macronutrients can be caused by various reasons. For an accurate diagnosis, in many cases, additional examination is required.Only a doctor can competently evaluate its results, diagnose and prescribe treatment.

    Interpretation of results

    Electrolyte imbalance can be caused by various reasons. The results are influenced by various diseases, as well as the drinking regimen, diet, and the intake of many medications. Therefore, when decoding the results, establishing a diagnosis and prescribing treatment, these points must be taken into account.

    Only a doctor can correctly interpret the results.In some cases, this requires a comprehensive examination.

    When should I take the analysis Potassium (K +), sodium (Na +), chlorides?

    1. Diseases of the kidneys and cardiovascular system, including arterial hypertension and arrhythmia.
    2. Profuse vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation.
    3. Pharmacotherapy with diuretics.
    4. Abuse of laxatives, adsorbents.
    5. Increased intake of salt (sodium chloride).
    6. Cushing’s Syndrome.
    7. High doses, long-term use of glucocorticosteroids.
    8. Inadequate diet, increased consumption of coffee, alcohol, sugar.
    9. Muscle weakness, rhabdomyolysis and paralysis.
    10. Chemotherapy.
    11. Diabetes mellitus.
    12. Adrenal dysfunction.
    13. Formation of kidney stones.
    14. Osteoporosis.

    Indications for research

    Disturbances in the balance of electrolytes in the blood can be manifested by the following symptoms:

    • high pressure;
    • nausea or vomiting;
    • constant weakness;
    • attacks of dizziness;
    • discomfort in the region of the heart.

    Exam preparation:

    • Do not eat for 12 hours before the test.
    • Eliminate physical and emotional stress 30 minutes before the study.
    • Do not smoke for 30 minutes before donating blood.

    90,000 7 tips for healthy eating

    1. Fluid consumption

    Since the body does not excrete enough urine in chronic kidney disease, it is very important to keep fluid intake under control to prevent dangerous weight gain between dialysis sessions.Your health center will tell you how much you can drink daily without the risk of complications. Some patients like to drink from bottles to keep track of their fluid intake. Whichever method you prefer, keep a close eye on how much you drink.

    2. Salt (Sodium)

    In renal failure, the body usually cannot effectively regulate sodium (salt) levels. Sodium increases blood pressure and thirst, forcing you to drink more fluids.

    • Use a small amount of salt when cooking.
      Adding dried herbs and other spices will help you reduce the amount.
    • Do not add salt to food at the table.
    • Nuts and processed foods such as pizza can be high in salt. Therefore, before using such products, carefully study their composition. If we talk about nuts, it is better to give preference to macadamia nuts.

    Elevated phosphate levels can eventually lead to bone decalcification and arteriosclerosis. To protect your blood vessels and bones, your phosphate intake should be 800–1200 mg per day. Most of the phosphate we ingest is found in proteins such as meat and milk. It is also important to take phosphate binders as directed by your doctor. If you are planning, for example, to eat kebabs, that is, to consume large amounts of phosphates, be sure to talk with your doctor in advance about how to take phosphate binders on that day.

    4. Potassium

    If the kidneys no longer secrete enough potassium, potassium levels in the blood may rise (hyperkalemia), for example, after eating foods rich in potassium. Hyperkalemia is a very dangerous condition and can cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. This often happens without any symptoms, further exacerbating the health threat. Just one such episode of disturbance can be very dangerous even for those patients who have never had hyperkalemia.Your doctor will advise you on how to control your potassium levels.

    5. Protein

    Protein is an essential nutrient for many bodily functions. Patients on dialysis require an adequate amount of protein in the diet. However, most proteins are rich in phosphate. Your diet should include at least 1 g of protein per kg of body weight per day. Your dialysis center’s healthcare professionals will recommend how much protein and what types of protein are good for you.

    6. Eating processed foods and eating in restaurants

    Avoid processed and processed foods as much as possible, as they tend to contain a large amount of salt, which is added as a flavoring agent. If you do eat such food, carefully check the information on the labels, especially the salt or sodium content in the product. The less salt or sodium in the ingredient list, the better.And don’t forget to check how much salt you’ve already consumed after the last dialysis session. When you eat in a restaurant, you can ask about the salt, phosphate and potassium content of certain dishes.

    7. Cooking

    You can help your body by cooking certain foods correctly, even if they contain high amounts of potassium, such as potatoes or fruits. Put them in water for a while to release excess potassium from them.All in all, fresh food you cook goes a long way towards maintaining your health and well-being.

    Sodium Hyaluronate – description, instructions for use

    Co-author, editor and medical expert – Maksimov Alexander Alekseevich.

    Date of last update: 06/30/2021

    Number of views: 18 397.

    Average reading time: 3 minutes.


    Application in medicine
    Reasons for successful use

    The nasal spray TIZIN ® Expert, in addition to the vasoconstrictor component, includes hyaluronic acid.It is thanks to this unique organic compound that the drug has additional properties. It not only reduces the feeling of nasal congestion and the symptoms of a cold, but also has a beneficial effect on the condition of the mucous membrane.

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    Hyaluronic acid is an essential component of all tissues. Most of all it is in the skin and mucous membranes. 1 Its derivatives (potassium and sodium hyaluronate), which have similar properties to it, are also found in the human body.Modern biotechnology makes it possible to synthesize these compounds. The sodium hyaluronate obtained in this way differs little from the natural compound in its effect.

    Hyaluronic acid and its derivatives are massive polysaccharide biopolymers composed of repeating simple disaccharide units. In a complex molecule of hyaluronic acid, acetylglucosamine and glucuronic acid alternate. But sodium hyaluronate instead of glucuronic acid contains glucuronate.

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    Chains of sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid fill the intercellular spaces. They are quite long and have a high specific gravity, therefore they bind many water molecules and impart viscosity to extracellular fluids. This provides the tissues with firmness, hydration and elasticity, allows you to remove toxins and maintain moisture balance.

    On the surface of the mucous membranes, hyaluronic acid forms a thin semi-permeable protective layer, covering the nerve endings and preventing irritation.It also stimulates the formation of collagen, creates a favorable environment for the regeneration of the surface layers of the skin and mucous membranes, 2 has a moderate antiviral and bactericidal effect.

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    Application in medicine

    Hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate improve the condition of all tissues and are used in various industries:

    In cosmetology and aesthetic medicine

    To increase skin elasticity and correct aging processes

    As part of external agents

    For moisturizing the skin, enhancing regeneration and healing processes

    As part of nasal sprays

    For moisturizing and softening the nasal mucosa.In combination with xylometazoline, an active substance with a vasoconstrictor effect, hyaluronic acid helps to eliminate dryness

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    Reasons for successful use

    Hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are not alien substances for the body. Therefore, preparations containing these compounds are hypoallergenic and have good compatibility with all tissues. When using hyaluronic acid products, the skin and mucous membranes are effectively moisturized and receive additional protection.Comfortable conditions are created for cells, natural processes of restoration of damaged and inflamed tissues are stimulated.

    The information in this article is for guidance only and does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified professional for diagnosis and treatment.


    1. Bochkov P.O., Kolyvanov G.B., Litvin A.A. other. The influence of high molecular weight excipients on the optimization of the pharmacokinetic properties of drugs.FGBIU “Research Institute of Pharmacology named after V.V. Zakusov, Moscow. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, 2016 (1): 3-11.
    2. Dronov I.A., Malakhov A.B. Possibilities of increasing the effectiveness and safety of the use of nasal decongestants in children.