All About Salt and Sodium – Part 3

All About Salt and Sodium - Part 3

Last Part of a three part series on Salt and Sodium.

Sodium Alginate
Used in many chocolate milks and ice creams to attain a smooth mixture.

Sodium Benzoate
Essentially a preservative for condiments such as sauces,Part Three - Salt And Sodium Articles salad dressings and relishes.

Sodium Citrate
Antioxidant in baking soda.

Sodium Hydroxide
A food processor that softens and loosens skins of certain fruits, vegetables and ripe olives.

Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite
Use of this has been linked to some forms of cancer, this chemical is used to cure meats including sausages, used in luncheon meats, hot dogs and other deli items.

Sodium Propionate
Used in breads, cakes and pasteurized cheese to inhibit mold growth.

Sodium Sulfite
Used to bleach maraschino cherries and to glaze or crystallize fruits. Used as a preservative in some dried fruits such as apricots, prunes and pears.

Note:The symbol for sodium is Na+, and can be found on many packaged items.
For most healthy people, an intake of about 1,110 to 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day is considered reasonable — depending upon their weight, exercise and diet. Some athletes may need more in warm climates.

Sodium is not always bad. In fact, for healthy people, it is essential for proper body function. Sodium helps maintain blood pressure, nerve function, normal muscle impulses and the body’s correct balance of water and minerals. However, many people consume far more sodium than they need (Source: USDA Dietary Intake data). For some, too much sodium in the diet may contribute to high blood pressure and fluid retention.

The salt shaker is only part of our high sodium intake. Many prepared foods use sodium as a preservative to maintain freshness and improve a food’s texture and consistency. Foods that contribute to sodium in the diet include soups, pasta mixtures, french fries, chicken mixtures, rice or cooked grain mixtures and pizza. In addition, frozen dinners, processed meats, canned soups, canned vegetables, salted nuts, salted chips and other snacks may have high sodium levels. Check the ingredient list for words such as salt, brine, broth, cured, corned, pickled and smoked. They all indicate a presence of sodium.

Individuals who have been advised to limit their sodium intake should be aware that some medications like sedatives, antacids, headache remedies and laxatives contain sodium. If you’re concerned about the amount of sodium you may be consuming through medication, consult with your doctor.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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