Table salt is made up of the elements sodium and chlorine - the technical name for salt is sodium chloride. Your body needs some sodium to work properly. It helps with the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps to keep the right balance of fluids in your body. Your kidneys control how much sodium is in your body. If you have too much and your kidneys can't get rid it, sodium builds up in your blood. This can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems.
Most people in the U.S. get more sodium in their diets than they need. A key to healthy eating is choosing foods low in salt and sodium. Doctors recommend you eat less than 2.4 grams per day. That equals about 1 teaspoon of table salt a day. Reading food labels can help you see how much sodium is in prepared foods.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
|Home | Health Topics | Drugs & Supplements | Encyclopedia | Dictionary | News | Directories | Other Resources|
|Disclaimers | Copyright | Privacy | Accessibility | Quality Guidelines
U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894
National Institutes of Health | Department of Health & Human Services
|Date last updated: 22 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 14 June 2008