Salt is a mineral substance composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl)

Salt is present in most foods, but in naturally occurring foodstuffs such as meats, vegetables and fruit, it is present in very small quantities. It is often added to processed foods to make their flavour more appealing and is also present at higher levels in preserved foods.

In many East Asian cultures, salt is not traditionally used as a condiment.In its place, condiments such as soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce tend to have a high sodium content and fill a similar role to table salt in western cultures. They are most often used for cooking rather than as table condiments.

Table salt is made up of just under 40% sodium by weight, so a 6 g serving (1 teaspoon) contains about 2,300 mg of sodium.

Sodium serves a useful purpose in the human body: it helps nerves and muscles to function correctly, and it is one of the factors involved in the autoregulation of water content (fluid balance).[49] Most of the sodium in the Western diet comes from salt

Too much sodium is bad for health, and health organizations generally recommend that people reduce their dietary intake of salt. High salt intake is associated with a significantly greater risk of stroke and total cardiovascular disease in susceptible people. In adults and children with no acute illness, a decrease in the intake of sodium from the typical high levels reduces blood pressure and provides a health benefit, and a low salt diet results in an even greater improvement in blood pressure in those with hypertension than in those without. A reduction in salt intake of 5 g per day has been found to be associated with a 23% reduction in the rate of stroke and a 17% reduction in the rate of total cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organization recommends that all adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium (5 g of salt) per day. A 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine states that there is insufficient evidence to show that there is any additional benefit in lowering sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day.

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