Sodium makes up approximately 40% of salt. In nutrition, it is used not only for flavor, but as a binder and stabilizer, as well as preservative to prevent creating environment suitable for bacteria. Sodium is necessary for conducting nerve impulses and muscle contractions, as well as water and mineral balance. Having too much sodium however can cause high blood pressure, calcium loss and heart malfunction. Kidneys play a significant role in regulating sodium levels through urine, while some of it is also lost by sweating. Processed food like hams and sausages, pickles, salted nuts and bacon are all full of sodium.