Sodium: Sodium and your health
Learn about sodium and how it affects your health.
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Sodium is a mineral that is found in food and in table salt. You need some sodium to stay healthy. Sodium:
- regulates your blood pressure
- helps keep your body’s fluids in balance
- keeps muscles and nerves running smoothly
Too much sodium may lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for developing:
- heart disease
Sodium is added to many foods during processing. It adds flavour and is used as a preservative.
Most people in Canada eat too much sodium. You can eat less sodium by limiting highly processed foods.
Sources of sodium
Most of the sodium found in our diet is added to foods during processing.
The top sources of sodiumFootnote 1 in our diet are:
- breakfast cereals
- salty snacks such as:
- baked goods such as:
- processed meats such as:
- deli meats
- canned meat
- chicken wings
- ready-made dishes such as:
- refrigerated or frozen entrées and appetizers
- sauces and condiments such as:
- soy sauce
- BBQ sauce
- teriyaki sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
We published updated voluntary sodium reduction targets for processed foods to encourage the food industry to reduce the amount of sodium in prepackaged foods.
- Footnote 1
These foods aren’t listed in order of importance.
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