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Sodium

Although many people think salt and sodium mean the same thing, the two are not the same. Salt is made of two minerals: sodium and chloride.1 All salts contain sodium.1

 

Does our body need sodium?

Our bodies need a small amount of sodium to work well and stay healthy. However, eating too much sodium is a problem. It can increase our risk of high blood pressure, stroke, kidney problems and other chronic diseases.2

How much are we eating?

Healthy adults need 1500 mg of sodium each day.2 However, the average daily sodium intake of Canadians is about 2700 mg of sodium.1 To learn more about your sodium intake try using Dietitian of Canada's eaTracker.

Over 75% of the sodium we eat each day comes from processed foods.1 About 12% of the sodium we eat is naturally present in food.1 The rest of the sodium that we eat, about 11%, is added during cooking or at the table.1

Tips to Reduce Sodium Intake

  • Cook at home more often. Include unprocessed foods as the main ingredients.
  • Use the nutrition facts table to compare and choose foods that are lower in sodium.
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt when cooking.
  • At the grocery store, choose foods with no added salt/sodium. Rinse canned vegetables, beans and lentils to lower the sodium content.
  • Eat out less often. If you are eating out, use the nutrition information provided by the restaurant to make lower sodium chooses. Avoid foods with lots of added sauces, dressings or condiments as these are usually higher in sodium. 
 
Date of creation: April 9, 2013
Last modified on: October 21, 2018
 

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