Salt plays a crucial role in maintaining human health. It is the main source of sodium and chloride ions in the human diet. Sodium is essential for nerve and muscle function and is involved in the regulation of fluids in the body. Sodium also plays a role in the body's control of blood pressure and volume Salt plays a crucial role in maintaining human health. It is the main source of sodium and chloride ions in the human diet. More information
How much salt should a person eat?
Medically reviewed by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D. on July 28, 2017 — Written by Yvette Brazier
Reading food labels
Everyone needs salt for fluid balance and muscle and nerve function. But too much salt is bad for us, we hear. So how much do we need?
The human body regulates how much sodium it contains. If levels are too high, we get thirsty and drink, and the kidneys speed up the process of getting rid of it.
Too much sodium has been linked to kidney stones, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
Too little sodium can lead to hyponatremia, and symptoms of dizziness, confusion, muscle twitches and seizures.
Most Americans consume too much salt and sodium, due to a high intake of processed, restaurant, and convenience foods. How far should we go in cutting out salt?
What we know as salt is really sodium chloride. It is 40 percent sodium and the rest is chlorine.