What is sodium?

Sodium is a mineral. It is found naturally in foods. Sodium is also added to processed foods. Sodium helps keep a normal balance of fluid in your body. Patients with heart failure need to follow a low-sodium diet because it helps control symptoms of heart failure and prevent other heart problems.

Why do I need to limit my sodium?

Limiting sodium in your diet helps minimize the amount of extra fluid around your heart, lungs, and in your legs. Extra fluid in your body makes your heart work harder and can increase your blood pressure.

Salty Facts

  • Salt and Sodium are not the same thing; Salt is a combination of sodium and chloride
  • A teaspoon of salt = 2,300 mg of sodium
  • Sea salt and kosher salt are less processed than ordinary table salt, but they are NOT low in sodium. The amount of sodium is about the same for all table and sea salts.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/01/2019.

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