Natural Sodium vs. Added Sodium: Why It’s Not All Bad

For many years, we’ve heard many bad things about sodium. And while it’s true that too much sodium (or anything for that matter) can be very bad for you, not all sodium is built the same.

In fact, sodium is a naturally occurring mineral that our bodies need to function properly. It is an electrolyte and is necessary for regulating blood pressure—which is why consuming too much can give you high blood pressure. But it also helps to maintain muscle, nerve, and kidney function. If you’ve ever experienced muscle cramps, for example, you might have been lacking enough sodium.

Sodium vs. Salt

Sodium is most commonly known as the main chemical in salt, but they are not precisely the same thing. Sodium is a dietary mineral, whereas salt is a crystallized chemical compound that includes sodium (the other being chloride). Both can be used as a preservative, though sodium compounds other than salt are common in industrial food production.

There are essentially two ways sodium gets into the food: it occurs naturally or is added. Processed foods such as commercially produced bread, pizza, cold cuts, and others often contain added sodium. Sodium also occurs naturally in various foods such as celery, beets, orange juice, almonds, tomatoes, brown rice, and others. Sodium is also frequently added to packaged foods to act as a preservative.

Just because a food has sodium doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad for you. In fact, that’s the main difference: foods where sodium naturally occurs are generally better for you than processed foods where sodium is added.

But what about processed foods that naturally contain sodium?

That’s where Oh So Tasty Soups fall. While we do not add any additional sodium to any of our soups, they contain naturally occurring sodium from the ingredients. For example, the seaweed used to make our kanten new’dles contains naturally occurring sodium. And that makes sense, given that it’s a saltwater plant. Sodium also occurs in powdered soybean paste naturally, which is the base of several of our soups.

Looking at our ingredients lists, you won’t see added sodium. Compare that to one of the most popular brands of soups that come in cups, though, and you’re going to see things like sodium alginate, sodium carbonate, and sodium tripolyphosphate. Indeed, most instant soups use these as preservatives. Some of these aren’t terrible for you in small quantities, but some are also used in heavy industrial processes (yuck!).

We don’t need them at Oh So Tasty, though. Partially because our foods are so delicious that they won’t last long on your shelf, but they’re also naturally dehydrated and vegetarian. They thus don’t require additional preservatives to help maintain their shelf life. All of our soups are low-sodium, even if they contain some levels of naturally occurring sodium.

So if you’re looking for something healthy and ready to eat in just 60 seconds, look no further than Oh So Tasty soups!