What Is Sodium & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Baking powder in a jar
Baking powder contains sodium

Sodium is also known as table salt or just salt.

It is a major mineral that is essential for life.

Many people are scared of salt, but the truth is: you can't do without it.

Sodium is an essential micronutrient for human survival.

The problem is the hidden sodium in processed foods, which can lead to over consumption of sodium.

People with an normal, average intake of sodium, don't need to reduce it.

Table of Contents

Why Do We Need Sodium?

Sodium is a mineral that is essential to your health. It's essential to your body's structure, and without it your cells wouldn't function properly.

Sodium is an electrolyte needed for the body to function normally and helps maintain fluid and blood volume in the body.

Your body requires sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. (source )

You can read about the benefits of consuming sodium in Sodium, Na: 5 Research-Backed Benefits .

Don't Be Scared Of Sodium

Many are scared of sodium because of the belief that it's bad for you.

But, new research shows that for the majority of people, sodium consumption does not increase health risks except for those who eat more than five grams a day. That is about 2.5 teaspoons of salt.

There is no convincing evidence that people with average sodium intake need to reduce their intake for the prevention of heart disease and stroke. (source )

Although, both in randomized controlled trials and observational studies, an association between salt intake and blood pressure has been pointed out.

But this association is weak, especially in non-obese individuals with normal blood pressure. (source )

Still, many health institutions believe that sodium is toxic and consider salt to be a target for prevention. (source )

Foods You Can Find Sodium, Na In

You find Sodium mostly in spices and herbs, sweets, sauces and gravies, and baked products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Sodium, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top ranked list of foods that contain Sodium, Na.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.