Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Secret Tips To Sodium or Salt In Your Diet

Increased Risk Of Obesity 25%

Reading the local paper revealed a study has shown that the percentage by which a person's risk of obesity is increased by 25%, for each gram of salt you eat a day.  This means that your natural weight loss program may silently be sabotaged by the foods, and the so-called healthy foods, that you are choosing.  In the article below, the recommendation is to reduce your intake of sodium to either 2300mg or 1500mg a day, this is in line with the FDA which also recommends you reduce your intake to 2300mg a day, unless you're in a high risk group, then reduce it to 1500mg a day

How Much Salt Do You Eat A Day?

Remember to check out hidden salt on your processed foods. This is where a lot of the salt you consume on a daily basis is hidden. It's not usually about the amount of salt you add to your food, most people today add less and less due to a variety of media campaigns over the years.

A good article about where to find your salt and sodium levels in your foods is given below:

"When you scan food labels, what’s the first stat you check? I’d venture a guess that for most people, it’s calories. Our eyes then veer to other nutrients — fats, carbs, sugar, fiber. But in my experience, not enough people pause to review the sodium content before making their choice.

That’s unsettling, because all of us — young and old, high blood pressure or not — should be paying attention to how much sodium we’re getting from packaged foods. Eating a high-salt diet raises blood pressure and increases the risk of other long-term health problems, including heart attack and stroke. While major health organizations currently disagree on how low we should go (many advise less than 1500 milligrams sodium per day for at-risk populations, while the Institute of Medicine recently concluded there wasn’t enough evidence at this time torecommend reductions below 2300 milligrams), they all agree that reducing the population’s sodium intake from the current excessive levels is an important public health goal.


Salt: The Other Sugar

Salt isn’t as hot button an issue as sugar, even though both have well-established, detrimental effects on health. That may be in part because salt doesn’t have a direct link to weight and obesity, which is such an emotionally-charged issue. You can get away with eating a high-salt diet for decades of your life without seeing the damage on the outside — around your waistline and thighs — but chances are, it will catch up with you eventually, in the form of high blood pressure and possibly something worse. The short-term benefits of a low-sodium diet aren’t as tangible, and the long-term problems are far away, which makes it harder to convince the public it’s a high health priority.

On top of that, it’s more difficult to conceptualize how much salt is in foods. Health experts can grab the public’s attention by dramatically unveiling the 17 teaspoons of straight sugar found in a 20-ounce bottle of soda, but even with the saltiest foods, we’re talking about fractions of a teaspoon. The message just isn’t as powerful.

And because we still don’t pay enough attention to sodium as we should, companies are able to get away with putting outrageous amounts of salt into processed and restaurant foods, which supply about 75 percent of the salt in the U.S. diet. Sure, we might think to check the sodium in obvious offenders, like soup and other canned foods, but we’re less likely to pay attention in foods that don’t scream “salty”, like breads, cereals, salad dressings, and frozen meals. (Heads up: Bread is actually the number one source of sodium in our diet, because we eat so much of it.)


Health Foods Can Be Salt Bombs

What’s more, there are a huge number of seemingly healthy products — with an otherwise very appealing overall nutrition profile — that have ridiculously high sodium numbers. Here are some that stood out on a recent trip to the supermarket:
  • Whole-Wheat Bread: I spotted brands with 200 mg per slice, or 400 mg per sandwich. That’s 17 percent of the maximum daily recommended intake (2300 mg). I also came across a whole wheat English muffin with 530 mg (23 percent)!
  • “Healthier” Chips: One brand of lentil chips had 420 mg (18 percent) per serving. As a comparison, that’s about 2.5 times as much as a serving of regular potato chips.
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese: Some brands clocked in at 450 mg per 1/2 cup (20 percent). Yikes!
  • Hummus: Some flavors logged 140 mg per 2 Tbsp. If you ate 3 servings (a typical portion for a meal), you’d be consuming 420 mg (18 percent).
  • Salad Dressing: Some “all-natural” and “organic” brands soared as high as 450 mg (20 percent) per 2 Tbsp.
  • Whole-Grain Cereals: A few cereals went as high as 270 mg (12 percent) per serving, and many people pour more than one serving.
  • Veggie Burgers: Many were in the 400 range, and one brand went as high as 500 mg (22 percent) per patty. Eat it on a salty bun and the sodium soars even higher.
  • Pasta Sauce: These numbers shocked even me — some “organic” and “all-natural” brands topped 650 mg in just 1/2 cup.
That’s a real shame, because outside of their high sodium levels, many of these products are good options with clean ingredient lists.

The good news is, the sodiuminformation is right there on the Nutrition Facts Panel for all to see, and if you’re already checking the label for calories, fat, and sugar, it only takes another second to assess the salt content. As a general rule of thumb, I advise looking for snacks with less than 200 milligrams sodium, and meals with less than 500 milligrams (of course, less is better). If you find that some of your favorite products are on the salty side, drop the manufacturer a note using Facebook or another social media channel. If enough people request changes, they’ll be forced to listen."

Even though this article states that there are currently no direct links with weight and obesity, the UK researchers have discovered that it does increase your risk of obesity by 25%. So, it's worthwhile reducing your salt intake from the hidden foods.

If you're looking for a way to reduce the sodium and salt content in your diet, contact me now for a discussion on a way to do this. 

diet for weight loss, natural weight loss
Photo courtesy of Tuomas Lehtine @

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