Difference Between Sodium and Salt

Sodium and salt are closely related, but despite the relationship between them; they are different things. In our daily diet, we consume both salt and sodium; But it is important to know the difference between the two so that we do not make the mistake of consuming one or the other in excess without even realizing it.  Difference Between Sodium and Salt

Here we explain what the difference is between salt and sodium. You will see why they are not the same.

SALT  Difference Between Sodium and Salt

Salt is made up of sodium and chloride, 40% corresponds to the first and 60% to the second.

The one we commonly use is table salt , which is scientifically known as sodium chloride or NaCl . It is one of the oldest condiments used by humans, in addition, it is the only edible rock. As if that were not enough, apart from serving to give flavor to our meals; it is also used for the preservation of some foods.

It is a crystalline mineral and is generally found in bodies of water where the sodium found there is absorbed and mixed with the chloride. For more than 8,000 years, salt has been extracted from these bodies, to the point that it has become one of the basic ingredients in the kitchens of almost all countries.

Salt has been considered a valuable commodity for much of human history.

When a food is high in salt it is said to be “salty.” This mineral is found in various forms: unrefined (sea salt), refined (table salt) and iodized salt. The latter is recommended by doctors, as it represents one of the most effective ways to provide iodine to the body.

The salts can vary in color, there is translucent, white, pale yellow, pink, gray salt.


Sodium is a chemical element that in science is represented by the symbol Na and has the atomic number 11 in the Periodic Table of the Elements.

It is a soft, silvery-white metal that is highly reactive. It is a member of the alkali metals and is not found freely in nature, but rather is part of a compound from which it must then be extracted.

Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Many sodium salts are highly soluble in water, in addition to being part of the salt we consume; Sodium hydroxide (bleach) is also used to make soap, and baking soda is also made with this element.

At standard temperature and pressure, sodium is a soft metal and a good conductor of electricity. Its use is common in the textile, paper, soap and glass industries.

In the human body, sodium helps transmit nerve impulses to each cell. The balance of this element in the body regulates blood pressure and the higher the sodium level, the higher the pressure. Therefore, people with high blood pressure should reduce and control the sodium levels they eat with their food.

Salt is not the only means by which sodium can be ingested, it is also found in pickles, processed cheeses, seafood, soups, tomato sauces and other condiments.

People who are susceptible to cardiovascular disease must regulate their sodium intake, which indirectly translates to salt. But it is not the latter that causes the problem, but the level of sodium found in it.

According to the American Public Health Association, a healthy person should consume about 2,400 mg of sodium; which translates to about a teaspoon of salt daily. But if the person has heart-related health problems, then their intake should be reduced to 1,500 mg daily.

Note: in this regard, it is important to remember what we said earlier: salt is not the only source of sodium. If, for example, we add the equivalent of a teaspoon of table salt to our meals, but we also eat other foods that contain sodium; We will be consuming an amount greater than the recommended one.

It is advisable to read the labels of the food products that we buy, so that we are aware of the daily proportions that we ingest not only sodium; but also of other nutrients.

Note 2: salt does not provide calories, but sugar does.

Key differences between salt and sodium

  • Salt is made up of sodium and chloride, while sodium is an element that is often extracted from among others.
  • Salt is used as a condiment and to preserve some foods, while sodium is used to create soaps, in the textile industry, in the manufacture of glass.
  • It is sodium and not salt that can be found naturally in some foods (in low amounts).
  • In our food, salt has the function of giving flavor; while sodium is necessary in our diet, because it contributes to certain functions of the body.

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