Sodium In All Its Forms

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Our intake of sodium is derived chiefly from three sources: (I) table salt added to food, (2) sodium compounds like monosodium glutamate, and (3) salt added to processed food. In addition, a relatively high amount is found in food from animal sources, such as dairy products, meat, fish, and eggs. Sodium, one of the minerals absorbed most quickly by the body, is found in our bones, body fluids surrounding cells, and cardiovascular system. Working along with potassium, it serves an essential role in aiding nerve stimulation and muscle contraction. It is also necessary for the absorption of carbohydrates and to maintain the water-acid balance in our body bV'.temr,. Any exces-. not JicLl by the body nDTmiiih' abtiul si<i 'J5 piiecnt—b- excreted In the urine I h-j dee rape person requires a minimum .■ grams nr I III -'I .1 :raipL>ou ril Halt daily bodybuilder* and o1 hci mliletes who '.-weal pi ■ i| fl.selv wtule r muling need nh-uiit J trams or up proximately I teaspoon per day

Some body In, idcr* a-ive l m ehmirime null I mm iheir dicis lo prevent water retention And n number ol my chin piaciac pill IGnlh havL '-■¡iiti. ,UM\ dncUir Luid me sail it. nnl good lor me " Since salt serves important luiu'tinns as mentioned above, I r'ind ¡1 difficult 10 believe any dm cm would advise healths person 10 eliminate il eomplelelv, Prublcms dtj nut slem from I he ordinary use 11! sail in cooking Ires11. simply prepared rTjejls. but !r<im its execyoye u>e iri iood processing and |uuk J mods, w h ll i ■ are discussed lalei 1 never had any problems with walcr ictenliofl when adding a Iitile salt to my food or using it in cooking. An cxce.sSiVi-« however, will inter lei >- with [he .ihsorplintt and uliluBimn 'il pTtilein roods and may cause 'ush uI potassium keep hi rn>nd thut sr-mc exceptmnaJH high sources lire Canadian bacon. jircen olives and canned shrimp, which contain appmvb mately % gram ol sodium pet ..imce. Luncheon iiu-Us, processed cheeses. cucumber picklei. corned beef, and cured pork are also high in sodium, having aboui '/z gram PC' ounce.

Many nardw^i king athlen-s who stvi'.il heavily ;ire so concerned with lacking that thev pup suit tablets in>.o iheir mouths withoul understanding thcii .lied on itie body I hos^ lahleis eon tain salt in highly concentrated lorm. lomng a large quantity ni fluid io drawn into ihe -tnmaeh. Despite this excels fluid tlu-lahli;?s eventually have ,i corrosive effect on the sluinneh lining I his damage can be prevented hy being aware n| rhe amuunl of salt netnally included in . ■ ■ 11r nod nla>.c. making consumption ol l.lltse highly -rmeenli Me I salt tublcls unnecessary

Next cn sugar, sail is one ol the most popular substances .ldded in foods, ii'ithough it Ls iiisjL'.uiseJ <n product label Undr." .n n'.jiuber :| d Life rem nltntibe? I he Mowing Wlil ¿v-Vt ;.{ u an idej "l how salt yi.i consume without knowing u constitute*. m iiigi. dien« lor pi vsers-Nig. cmuUify in;, and adjusting the acidiLy ol food.

fable '■«ill (sodium chloride) I: manufaciurers could refrain I rum habitually iiMlic Table salt m canning and processing [nod*

We oiild ci.miiol il use heMer than ilht-'i lol m-- ol %ud Sinci.

i.hlldhuod <■ -ill neeri ,■. sjiUsliuk u Hiding ■ •■ ih1 L n hen table and are generally aware of the amount sprinkled on our food. As you have probably noticed, some people always add salt to their food; others never do. This certainly indicates that not all taste buds are the same. Yet, manufacturers of canned and frozen foods assume everyone has a uniform taste for the quantity of salt added to their products. Fortunately, it is now possible to buy canned vegetables and fruits that are salt-free Usually they are found in the supermarket along with diet foods and are also stocked in most health food stores

Brine The mixture of table salt and water that forms brine has been used for hundreds of years to preserve food by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. In this form it is used for making sauerkraut, pickles, pastrami, and corned beef. To prevent fruits and vegetables from darkening before canning or freezing, they are quickly dipped into a solution of brine brought to the boiling point.

Baking powder Sodium is one of the reactive agents in baking powder that causes cakes, cookies, certain donuts, and quick breads to rise. Because too much baking powder would ruin the texture of these baked goods, its use is most often kept within reasonable limits.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) Used as a leavening agent similar to baking powder, sodium bicarbonate is one of the ingredients found in baked goods, particularly when they are made with heavier ingredients as found in fruitcake and carrot cake. Many cooks, especially in cafeterias, keep vegetables looking fresh and green on steam tables by adding baking soda to the cooking water. And, until the invention of patent medicines, bicarbonate of soda was commonly used as a cure for indigestion.

Monosodium gtutamate (MSG) This ingredient is highly favored in Oriental cooking, and restaurant chefs are usually generous in its use. Because many people suffering cardiovascular or other medical problems have become ill from MSG, a number of Oriental restaurants now offer a choice of many items prepared without it. MSG is also used in the kitchens of hotels, restaurants, and fast food chains and is packaged as a seasoning sold under several brand names

Sodium alginate The smooth texture of most ice cream is created by this sodium-based compound. Chocolate milk, whether skimmed or whole, is often given its velvety texture by sodium iilginate.

Sodium sulfite 'In achieve the brilliant red colot of mara schino cherries and some glazed fruits, they are first bleached in a solution of sodium sulfite and then dyed with food color. The same compound is used to preserve some dried fruits such as figs and prunes

Sodium benzoate Bottled salad dressings, sauces, and a grand array of relishes are kept as "fresh" as the day they were made by using sodium benzoaie.

Iltvodium phosphate The compound serves as a cmulsifict in iriOKt paL>:;i«ed cheeses and iht. percentage of disodium phosphate used is «.|uuc hiph. H is also lound in a number of quid-cooking cereals und is used to adjust. the acidity of chocolate, soda pup. and sauces like Worcestershire, A-l, and soy.

Sodium propriunatc I vventy yen re a^o cheese and bread becamc middy within four to five days. Now, with the addition of sodium propionate, some types ol bread remain -oft and mold-free for over two weeks. Many processed cheeses stay Itcsh lot seven to nine days.

Sodium hydroxide You may wonder why canned and frozen fruit ¿!: so s'lcanly peeled when you cannot do the barm: with fresh peachcs, plum;, apricots, and pears. Part ol the reason is the blanching process, in which the Jruii is plunged briefly into bailinu wutci Afterward Ihc fruit is treated in a solution ol sodium hydroxide, which softens and loosens the skin until it slips off. Both processes contribute to a high loss of nutrients in canned and frozen fruit.

Deficiency symptoms It should be obvious, therefore, that deficiencies of sodium are rare. Keep in mind that heat exhaustion accompanied by hea'.y sweating over a long period of time can cause salt depletion. The symptoms are nausea, muscle cramps, and a headache.

Toxicity Toxicity can oceut when your body has adapted to a long-term :;ilt-frce diet and yuu abruptly begin eating foods high in salt oonrenL, Sevn. pro Wart* can hU; be caused by restricting water intake when having highly salted foods.

Sources Foods high in sodium include bacon, bologna, bran cereal, corned beef, cornflakes, green olives, ham, lunch meat, Parmesan cheese, potato chips, pretzels, processed cheese, and sausage. Pretzels have approximately 70 percent more sodium than potato chips.

Foods low <11 sodium include almonds; most fresh fruit and fruit juices; most vegetables except beets, carrots, celery, and spinach; walnuts; and whole grains.

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