Yes, In my last post I wrote about the evils of processed sugar. But today I want to write about salt. Salt is a seasoning that everyone uses whether you cook or just use a shaker at the table. In moderation, salt is an o.k. seasoning, but today we have salt added to almost everything we buy in the grocery. Salt is a preservative that’s been used for centuries, long before refrigeration, to keep food from spoiling. You would think that after a couple thousand years science could come up with something better.
The health effects of salt are the conditions associated with the consumption of excessive or insufficient quantities of salt, a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl) which is used to add flavour to food. Chloride and sodium ions, the two major components of salt, are needed by all known living creatures in small quantities. Salt is involved in regulating the water content (fluid balance) of the body. The sodium ion itself is used for electrical signaling in the nervous system.
Salt consumption has increased during modern times and scientists have become aware of the health risks associated with high salt intake, including high blood pressure in sensitive individuals. Therefore, some health authorities have recommended limitations of dietary sodium, although others state the risk is minimal for typical western diets. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends that individuals consume no more than 1500–2300 mg of sodium (3750–5750 mg of salt) per day depending on age.
I know that sounds like a lot of salt, but we eat salt almost on everything. And it will cause “high blood pressure” especially in older adults. The number of adults over 40 taking a prescription drug for high blood pressure is shockingly high. You can “Google” it. High Blood Pressure is a leading cause of Heart Disease.
I’ve wrote several posts about losing weight and the health problems that you can have when your overweight. Several of the comments I get ask “How can I lose weight, I tried everything.”
A good place to start is your diet. Too many of us think of exercise as the answer. ” I should get a gym membership or a trainer.” Usually that doesn’t work. Oh, it’s great for small amounts of temporary weight lose, but the weight comes back.
You have to tackle the diet first. And salt is a good place to start. Too much salt will cause you to retain fluids and that adds to your weight. So while you might be counting calories you might also keep track of your salt consumption. You might ask, “how do I do that?” Well the sodium content is listed on all packaged foods. Fresh foods have no sodium content unless you add it. Now if you read the paragraphs above there is recommended sodium per day and recommended salt per day. Use the recommended sodium per day, that’s what is used on labeling. For instance, one can of soup will contain 480 mg of sodium, other canned foods are about the same like beans. But a can of Chili has more than 1000 mg of sodium. a half of teaspoon of salt has 1200 mg of sodium, so one teaspoon of salt a day is the total amount you should be consuming a day. When you put it in that content, it’s a very small quantity. And with all the processed foods and restaurant food we eat in a day, I’m should we’re consuming 10 times the maximum amount.
I think no matter how much time you spend at the gym your going to have trouble losing weight.
Now if you read my last post you’ll remember that processed sugar is our enemy. We get all the sugar we need from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. So if your starting from scratch on a diet program or your already dieting and not having much luck, the first think you should think about is your salt intake and sugar consumption and how to reduce them to a much lower level. Low-fat foods are usually high in sugars to give them more flavor. Low-fat does not mean low-calorie. And while your counting mg of salt and sugar, don’t forget to count calories. You have to burn the calories you eat everyday or your body will turn the extra ones into fat.