Sodium itself is what makes your blood pressure go up. Salt is sodium chloride, about half sodium and half chloride; it is a major source of sodium in the diet, but not the only one. Sodium is also found in products such as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and various preservatives and thickening agents in the form of sodium phosphate and other compounds.
That’s one reason you should limit the consumption of processed and packaged foods. They tend to be high not just in salt but also in other sodium containing compounds. In fact, processed and packaged foods, not table salt (the seasoning you cook with and sprinkle on your food), are the main sources of sodium in the American diet.
So to limit sodium, eat whole foods as much as possible. And when buying packaged foods, look for those that provide 5 percent or less of your daily sodium value, says Arlene Dalcin, a registered dietitian at the John Hopkins School of Medicine. Note that food labels list the amount of sodium in a product from all sources, not just salt.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health July 2018
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