Sodium and Chloride

This is a short blog about common salt, composed of 2 elements, one of sodium and one of chloride.  There seems to be considerable confusion about the relationship between sodium and salt.  Salt is a molecule composed of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride.   Sodium is the element required on the label of many of the prepared foods that we eat.  The most recent government document on Dietary Guidelines (2010) notes that we are eating far more sodium than is required which is a risk factor for stroke, coronary heart disease and kidney disease.  But there are other sodium compounds used in food preparation including sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium phosphate, monosodium glutamate and others.  Much of the sodium present in our foods comes from the salt added to processed foods, not from the salt shaker that we use to add flavor as we eat.  So to cut down on the sodium that you eat, read labels carefully and avoid some of the juices and soups which often carry excessive amounts.


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