Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is about 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride. It adds flavor to food and is also used as a preservative, binder, and stabilizer.
The human body needs a very small amount of sodium – the primary element we get from salt – to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. But too much sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Most Americans consume at least 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, which contains far more sodium than our bodies need.
Know your limits
The researchers recommend limiting daily sodium intake to one 2,300 milligrams (one teaspoon). At-risk individuals should limit their daily sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams (2/3 of a teaspoon):
- people over age 50;
- people who have high or slightly elevated blood pressure;
- people who have diabetes.
Source of information: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/