Sodium is essential as it maintains a right balance of fluids in the body. It is also important for nerve and muscles functions.
The kidneys regulate the amount of sodium in the body. When sodium in the body is less kidneys conserve sodium and when the levels are high they excrete excessive sodium in the urine. In patients of chornic heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney diseases kidneys are unable to regulate sodium.
In adults 1500-2400 mg sodium is needed per day. In people who are above 50 years or who have high BP, chronic kidney diseases or diabetes mellitus they have to limit the amount of sodium in the diet.
Sources of sodium : -
- Processed and prepared foods i.e. canned vegetables, soups, frozen foods and meat etc.. Here sodium containing compounds are used to preserve food.
- Sodium containing condiments as in sauces etc.. 1 teaspoon full (5ml)of table salt contains 2,325mg of sodium.
- Natural sources of sodium i.e. meat, dairy products, poultry and vegetables. All these have some sodium in them.