The thing with sodium is that it's:
Everywhere: seriously, even celery contains sodium!
Sneaky: food doesn't get to taste "salty" to be high in salt (i.e., tuna sandwich).
Why do restaurants use such tons of salt? Pretty obvious: Flavor.
Salt is what we wish to call a flavor changer. This is often why your meal might not taste salty - salt is used to strengthen, suppress, or change other flavors.
Salt suppresses the bitter taste
Salt balances our sweet and sour flavors.
Why do packaged foods use such tons of salt? Not so obvious: time of storage. Salt could also be a preservative, which suggests it keeps food 'fresh' longer. That's why which can of soup sitting in your pantry doesn't expire until 3 years later.
So why can we care about overeating salt?
✅ Skews your buds: taste buds. Salt feeds salt cravings. Once you begin to reduce the salt in your diet, you'll notice you become much more salt sensitive.
✅ Makes you feel bloated: Sodium causes you to hold water, so a salty meal may have you feeling extra 'full.'
✅ Causes weight fluctuations: Although it is not the actual weight but water weight, this may be frustrating!
✅ Increases your blood pressure.
However, salt is not the enemy. Salt is vital as salt helps shuttle essential nutrients into all of your body's cells.