Sodium (Na) is a “concentrated” version of Salt (NaCl).
I like to think of it similar to the idea that simple sugar syrup is a “concentrated” form of sugar.
In food: Sodium as the concentrated form is much easier to add to processed foods and pre-packaged foods. Sodium is a preservative. Sodium enhances flavors. There are 2,325 milligrams of sodium (Na) in (one teaspoon) 6 grams of table salt (NaCl).
In the body: The human body does not make sodium, but the body does hold on to sodium. Sodium is a mineral. Sodium is used for muscle function. Sodium retains water in the body.
New 2010 guidelines recommend:
No more than 1,500 mg/day for high-risk populations (Anyone with hypertension, heart conditions, diabetes, kidney issues, etc.).
No more than 2,300 mg/day for general populations (persons without high-risk diseases).
There really isn’t a sodium restriction for people who participate in heavy exercise like running and sweat a lot because sodium is lost in sweat.
Check the food labels on snacks, canned food, or processed food to identify the content of sodium to keep track of your intake throughout the day.
(I do not own the images used in the picture).