Fast Facts about Sodium
- Sodium is a mineral found in table salt, sea salt and kosher salt. The chemical name for salt is sodium chloride.
- While our bodies require a small amount of sodium to function, the sodium intake of most Canadians is well above levels recommended for optimum health.
- Only 10% of the sodium we eat is a natural part of the food itself.
- 77% of the sodium we eat is added during preparation by the food industry and restaurants.
- Eating too much sodium can cause high blood pressure. This can harm our heart, brain (stroke!) and kidneys. (http://www.hypertension.ca/)
- Too much sodium is especially bad for people who already have high blood pressure or diabetes.
- High blood pressure is the leading cause of death worldwide – sodium is the reason in 30% of these cases.
- Excess sodium intake has been linked to asthma, osteoporosis, gastric cancer and obesity.
- Reducing your sodium intake can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Most of us eat too much sodium. 1500 mg per day is enough. The average person consumes more than twice that amount (3500 mg per day).
- Most of our children eat far too much sodium. This can affect a child’s blood pressure and may be harmful later on in life.
Tips for Home and Shopping!
Learn more about CSC's Take it Without a grain of salt project.
The Silent Killer
Sodium is called the silent additive because we often do not know it is in our food, or how much has been added. Hypertension is called the silent killer because unless we have our blood pressure checked, we do not know that we have this condition. Hypertension can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Find out more about sodium (salt) and health!