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Is Your Diet Worth its Salt?
Ditch Salt, Ditch Pounds

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Healthy tips for individuals monitoring sodium/salt intake.

Monitoring sodiumintake is vital to individuals dealing with certain health issues, such as heart disease.

But monitoring salt intake is something that can assist everyone in achieving a higher level of health and may even help drop those extra pounds. Here's how...

How Reducing Salt Intake Generates Weight Loss & Improves Level of Health

Water Retention

At this moment you may be carrying around 3 pounds OR more of false weight due to excess sodium intake. Excess sodium in the daily diet encourages water retention.

Think about this: Our bodies are comprised chiefly of water and water weighs heavily. Get rid of excess sodium in the diet and you'll naturally get rid of 3 or more unwanted pounds while achieving a higher level of health.

As a note, it may take the body a few days to release the pent-up water due to sodium intake, so exercise patience while you're exercising on reducing sodium intake.

Sodium-Packed Foods

Many foods containing a high sodium content also contain a high fat content. Eliminating OR reducing these foods in the daily diet will create a scene for natural weight loss.

Salty chips, salty crackers, salty nuts, salty pickles, salty bacon, salty fast foods and so forth all contribute to false weight when the sodium content exceeds what your body needs to function smoothly.

Sodium Overdose

Symptoms of excess sodium intake include swelling (generally the hands, face, leg & tootsie areas) and a decrease in urine output which in turn impacts the feeling of wellness. It's what we like to describe as, "Bewitched, bloated and bombed-out by excess sodium."

Sodium Culprits

Sodium hides in the most unsuspecting places. Take steamed shrimp which contains about 195 mg of sodium per 3 ounces. Here is just a short list of foods containing high levels of sodium. How many are in your daily diet? How might you work towards stamping out or modifying your sodium intake to the recommended level (listed below)?

- cold breakfast cereals; a serving of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes contains 150 mg of sodium. In comparison, a serving of salty-tasting Lays Potato Chips contains only 180 mg of sodium.

- pickled foods; 1 dill pickle contains about 800 mg of sodium

- saltine crackers contains about 140 mg of sodium - possibly more depending upon the brand

- a 5 ounce cheeseburger contains about 1,000 mg of sodium

- processed meats; one slice of deli ham may contain 500 or more mg of sodium

Types of Salt

Kosher Salt - A coarse-textured salt produced by using methods approved under Orthodox Jewish Laws. Kosher salt is generally rubbed on uncooked meats which works to absorb blood within the meat while enhancing flavor. 

The crust created by the large size of the salt works as a barrier to lock-in the meat juices during the cooking process, as well as in keeping the salt from being absorbedby the meat.

Sea Salt - The remains of evaporated sea water high in sodium chloride. Because this variety of salt is rich, flavors in foods can be accomplished with less salt. Other elements of sea salt include: calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Common Table Salt -Purified rock salt ripped of its natural element iodine which may be added after the refining process. Both iodized and non-iodized versions of table salt can be found in abundance at the local market in an assortment of grain size, from fine to coarse.

Look for enhanced versions of salt, such as Mortons' Fire Salts which can heat up your diet plan when used in moderation.

Rock Salt -Rock salt brings back memories of the good old days when my dad would fire up the old ice cream maker. The rock salt worked to freeze the ice cream concoction.

As a note, rock salt is unsuitable for foods and has many uses other than an ice cream freezing agent, such as melting accumulated snow and ice.

Sodium Health Notes

Too Little Sodium Can Also Present Serious Health Risks, Including Death:My beloved uncle experienced a massive heart attack in his mid-forties yet lived just shy of his 80th birthday.

At one point his doctor instructed him to omit salt from his diet. When he experienced weakness which led to fainting which led to a visit to the emergency, his doctor determined that his body was in dire needof sodium.

His instructions included returning home and preparing French fries, then salting them thoroughly before consumption.

In summary, a sodium-restricted diet must be closely monitored by both the individual and their doctor. Sodium is one of electrolytes of the body and works to balance water within the body.

When the electrolytes become imbalanced, so does the body. It's one reason why drinking an excess of water can lead to death.

Recommended Sodium in the Daily Diet - How much salt do you need each day?

The USDA Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Sodium Intake equals no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is just a tab more than a teaspoon of table salt. Of course, body size and weight also play an important element in the Sodium Factor, so 2,300 milligrams per day may be too much sodium for the smaller than average individual.

To learn about other foods high in sodium as well as other Sodium Health Notes, you may enjoy this article at Diet Bites.

Recommended Methods When Opting Out of Salt

If you're trying to shake the salt habit, the following may be of help:

- Rather than salt, reach for spices, lemon/lime juice - or any citrus based natural fruits, and extracts.

- If you're attempting to reduce salt, doing such slowly might work for you. Salt intake is a bit like butter and sugar intake - the less you use, the less you'll want.

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