Sodium Full Guide , deficiency and Excess

Sodium is a mineral that plays a critical role in the hydration state of the organism. It is present in the blood and the extracellular fluid surrounding the cells.It also helps to maintain acid-base balance and is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.


Unlike nutrients, foods on this list should be consumed in moderation.
Sodium helps to increase blood pressure in some people. Since it is hard to determine who is susceptible and who is not, most people should consume it with moderation.
In fact, a diet too rich in sodium (more than 2400 mg per day) can increase blood pressure, even among those who do not have hypertension, in addition to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and osteoporosis in some people.
In against part, (less than 500 mg per day) or considerable loss of sodium (by sweating, increased sodium excretion in the urine or the presence of severe vomiting) can cause nausea, dehydration, muscle cramps and even dizziness.

Daily Needs:

There is no Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for sodium. It is rather the adequate intake (AI), and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) have been established.

Your Daily Intake by age:

Children 4-8 years = 1200 mg
Teens 14-18 = 1500 mg
Adults 19-50 = 1500 mg
Adults +50 = 1300 mg

Food Sources:

The primary sources are prepared and prepackaged foods. In fact, over 75% of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods such as cheeses, meats products, pizzas, sauces, and soups as well as dried or smoked foods.

For Example:

-dried salt beef = 2790 mg per 100g.
-Table salt = 2373 mg per tablespoon.
-grilled Bacon = 2310 mg per 100g or 4 slices .
-fish sauce ready to serve = 1408mg per tablespoon.
-Baking soda = 1284 mg per tablespoon.
-Smoked salmon = 784 mg per 100g.


Sodium deficiency is very rare. Even when the sodium in dietary intakes are low, the body usually fits reducing losses through urine and sweat. By cons, a deficiency can occur when repeated vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, excessive sweating. Too low sodium intake can cause some adverse side effects. Symptoms of sodium deficiency are muscle cramps, loss of appetite, dehydration, pressure drop and confusion.


Conversely, excessive sodium consumption, although more common, can also cause side effects including high blood pressure and loss of bone mass (osteoporosis). High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. The general population consumes much more sodium than its actual need. Indeed, the average consumption of sodiǖm as salt in Canadians from 2 200-4 100 mg per day and in 2000 French 4800 mg per day.

Individuals with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease and the elderly are more likely than the rest of the population to see their blood pressure increased as a result of a high sodium intake because they have a sensitivity to higher salt.

Interestingly, a significant potassium intake would increase sodium excretion in the urine and thus mitigate the increase in blood pressure resulting from excessive intake.

Although sodiǖm chloride is the primary dietary source of sodium, other forms are often found in food as additives (MSG, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, sodium acid pyrophosphate, etc.). Sodium bicarbonate and sodiǖm citrate can be found in many medications types antacids.

Reduce sodium intake

Buy fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible.Look for canned vegetables is low in sodium or no salt added.
Prefer vegetables and low-in-sodium tomato juice.Prefer the bread, cereal for breakfast and crackers that are low in sodium.

Enjoy various types of grains such as barley, quinoa, and rice, which are naturally unsalted. Prefer milk, fortified soy beverages, and yogurt.They are low in sodium. Prefer meat, poultry, fish, seafood and tofu unseasoned.

Choose unsalted nuts.Get beans canned or try dried beans, dried peas and lentils.
Choose low mineral water sodium (Ë,20 mg / liter).

Avoid the salt shaker at the table. Restrict salt and savory spices for cooking (e.g., onion salt, sea salt, vegetable salt, steak seasoning, soy sauce or tamari, MSG).
Avoid frozen dinners and fast food type meal because they contain a high amount of sodiǖm.
Suggested condiments to add flavor

  • dry mustard, pepper
  • onion powder or garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Herbs (basil, oregano)
  • Spices without salt
  • Lemon juice