Is Salt the Same as Sodium?


by Alex Ruani — Get free science updates here.

Throughout these InstaHealth posts, we’ve covered food labels from top to bottom.

In this issue, it’s time for the very last item on the list: Salt.

Why is it important to know the salt content of your food?

There is convincing evidence that eating too much salt can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease.

But there is something important to highlight when it comes to salt…

in European countries you will always find salt written on the label.

But Europe is Europe… Get away from it and everything changes.

In countries like Australia, China, and the US you won’t find the word “salt”.

Instead, they use sodium.

Check out this Australian food label, for example:

So, are sodium and salt the same?

Well, yes and no.

Salt, as we know it, is actually sodium chloride.

Because it’s only the sodium part that is important in the body, some labels only name this component.

Because it’s only the sodium part that is important in the body, some labels only name this component (and not the chloride bit).

Which means that when a label says salt, it includes both the amount of sodium and chloride.

So, the amount of salt is actually higher than the amount of sodium in a product (since it has another part to include).
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But there’s an easy way to convert sodium into salt. Simply multiply by 2.5.

The Australian label you just saw contained 20mg of sodium per serving.

So 20mg x 2.5 = 50mg of salt per serving

Salt guidelines in the UK recommend that we don’t consume more than 6 grams of salt per day. This therefore equates to 2.4 grams of sodium per day.

So, now you know how to work out how much salt is in your food, even if you’re away on holiday!

 

 

Related TrainingS:
Nutritional Genetics and Epigenetics
Craving Control and Taste Manipulation
Visual Cues and Taste

 


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