Do you add salt to the food on your plate? Even if you don’t add extra salt from a shaker, many of the foods you eat probably contain plenty of salt.
News You Can Use
- Most of the salt in food, as well as the salt in a shaker, is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride isan ionic compound with the chemical formula NaCl. Processed foods contain a lot of salt and therefore a lot of sodium (Na). As a result, many people consume too much of this alkali Earth metal.
- High-sodium diets have been linked to high blood pressure. High blood pressure, in turn, increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Reducing sodium intake may help prevent these health problems.
- Learn more about salt, sodium, and health by watching this short video:
Can You Apply It?
Read the article below about salt substitutes. Then answer the questions that follow.
- What are some examples of high-sodium processed foods?
- What role does the sodium-potassium ratio (Na/K) play in good health?
- What foods are naturally high in potassium (K)?
- Sodium chloride is just one of many possible salts. What are salts? How does asalt form? (Hint: An acid and a base are involved, and a salt is neutral in pH.)
- Potassium chloride has the chemical formula KCl. It is a salt that is used as a substitute for NaCl in order to reduce sodium intake. Both salts are composed of metal and halogen ions. Would you expect potassium to have properties similar to those of sodium? Why or why not?
- Compare and contrast NaCl and KCl as food additives. For example, how do they taste and how good are they for cooking?