SALT (FRIEND OR FOE)

Salt is sodium plus chloride. Both are minerals. Salt is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. It’s that 40% that causes so much concern among doctors today. Their findings point to the dangers of people overdoing salt intake in their daily diets. High blood pressure, strokes, and kidney disease have all been associated with excessive salt intake.

The recommended amount of sodium, as prescribed by the American Heart Association, is 2300 mg per day for healthy people, and 1,500 mg per day for salt-sensitive populations.
As innocent as sodium and salt may seem in your diet, they can cause you to appear heavier on the scale. Excess sodium in our diet causes us to retain water, thus adding to the numbers on the scale.

But Why?

Because sodium helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body, excess sodium effects that balance. When an individual consumes more sodium than is necessary, the intestines and kidneys become overworked to deal with the excess sodium. If the kidneys cannot eliminate enough sodium, sodium will accumulate in the blood stream. This in turn causes the body to hold onto additional fluids, which results in weight gain.

What is the link between salt and sodium?

1 teaspoon of salt weighs about 5,000 milligrams (mg) and contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium
⅓ teaspoon of salt has 1,000 mg sodium
¼ teaspoon of salt has 500 mg sodium

Belive me, it’s not that hard….Here are a few things you can do to reduce your sodium intake:

Read Labels: Check labels and nutrition information of all packaged food and drinks. Also read the nutritional handout cards now provided by a lot of restaurant chains. Single servings with more than 400 mg or 25% or higher than the daily recommended sodium intake should be avoided.

Eat Fresh: A can of green beans typically contains an excess of 400 mg of sodium, whereas fresh or frozen will contain no sodium at all.

Cook: A typical entree while eating out can have close to 2,000 mg of sodium, which is more than what some people should be having all day. Making your own food drastically reduces the amount of sodium plus usually tastes much better.

Salt-Free Seasonings: I always use Mrs. Dash, it has a variety of salt-free seasonings using different combinations of herbs and spices. My favorite is Onion & Garlic with a quick squeeze of lemon or lime adds great flavor without ever having to touch the salt shaker.

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