Salt does not contain calories at all. Neither does salt add calories to the food that one eats. Salt, however, can result in temporary weight gain when consumed in high amounts. This is because of its capacity to retain water in the body.
When water is retained in the body, one feels bloated.
Salt is everywhere. It is in the processed foods that are popular in the market. Salt is also frozen foods and fast food products. Even canned goods have tons of salt in them. Suffice to say, individuals that consume more of these types of food tend to be on the heavier side.
As one looks into the most popular crash diets around, one sees a diet with less salt. It is obvious that these diets understand the role salt plays in one’s food intake. Because the most popular crash diets contain little to no salt, what one loses is water.
Once one is over with the crash diet, the tendency is to consume food with salt content again. And with its consumption comes the regaining of the weight that was lost.
Salt also brings with it a few more problems. Consuming more sodium than necessary can result in many health issues. This is the reason why doctors recommend keeping salt consumption below 2400 mg per day. In fact, other doctors recommend consumption to even be lower than 1600 mg per day.
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Is salt bad when one wants to lose weight?
Salt retains water. Water retained can add up to the weight. Salt, when consumed in large quantities, can put one’s weight loss efforts to waste.
Most that watch their weight tend to count calories as well. This is not a bad thing. In fact, calorie counting is effective when wanting to lose weight.
Calorie counting lets one be aware of the carb, protein, and fat intake. This also lets one in on how much calories should be burned.
Calorie counting, however, is not the only way to go when wanting to lose weight. A few other individuals retain their weight despite the limited calorie intake.
The culprit – salt.
Is one getting enough salt? Or is the diet brimming with salt?
Here are a few things one has to know about salt and its many effects on one’s weight loss efforts.
As is true in everything, we should take things in moderation.
This is quite true even in salt consumption.
The body needs sodium. But its consumption is just right to ensure the body has the amount that it needs. Too much of it can be bad. Too little to no sodium can have devastating effects.
For the sodium intake to be just right, one has to follow the experts’ advice. By consuming about 1,600 mg of sodium per day, one has just the right amount of salt.
When one checks the sodium content of frozen foods in the supermarket, the result can be alarming. One does not know that foods that are low in calories and carbohydrates may be high in salt content.
In most processed foods in the market, a single serving contains enough sodium for one day. Sometimes, the sodium content can even be more.
Salt retains water. When going on a weight loss plan, one finds that salt is often the culprit in weight gain. Aside from that, salt also brings with it bouts of dehydration.
What one does not know is that salt also comes with other repercussions.
When working too hard to lose weight, sodium also can stop the water from functioning as it should. Water is supposed to work and enhance one’s metabolism. This should result in calories and fats to be burned effectively.
Too much sodium will make the water work against its function. This makes one’s efforts at the gym pointless and useless.
When wanting to lose weight, one should help the body as well. A good eating habit is essential in making sure the weight loss program works.
And if one’s eating habits have allowed for large consumption of salt, there is a need to revisit the diet. Here are a few things to take note of.
Get Rid of the Processed Foods
Processed foods are chock full of sodium. Sodium ensures that these foods stay fresh without all the other artificial ingredients.
Getting rid of frozen and processed foods may be a hard habit to end. One has to be patient with oneself to get through the hurdle.
What could help is to get rid of the processed foods. Avoid canned goods. Ignore the frozen foods. Throw away the chips, crackers, and even cookies.
Instead, replace these with natural foods. Go with the fresh ones.
As soon as the body adjusts to this new eating habit, one would realize that the body (and even the mind) feels better.
Salted Nuts No More
When going through aisles in the supermarket, one finds a wide array of salted nuts. They are pre-packaged and just tastes great.
But what one should know is that these are brimming with sodium. And this is not food.
Instead of going for the pre-packaged salted nuts, go with raw almonds. Unsalted or raw nuts are also great options to snack on.
Pass the Salt Please… Or Not
Salt is a common condiment on many tables.
If one is addicted to sprinkling salt on salads, eggs, or even pasta, there is a problem at large. The use of excessive sodium in food is addictive. And it is never good.
Instead of always putting in salt, an alternative should be using light salt. Another option is to add one’s favorite spice instead.
The changes may not be instantaneous. In fact, the change should be gradual.
But over time, one would be more comfortable eating with just the right amount of salt.
Will salt make you fat?
Consuming salt more than the normal retains water in the body. This can show as extra pounds on the weighing scale. Aside from that, salt is also linked to higher amounts of body fat. This is exactly the fat that is stored around one’s middle.
Over time, studies show that those that eat more salt tend to weigh more. Research has shown that the additional weight is more on water retained. But aside from this, there seems to be additional data that links too much salt with higher amounts of body fat.
The obvious explanation is because of the food that one eats. Foods that are high in salt are usually snacks and chips. Most times, these are also foods in fast-food restaurants. These are fried and processed foods.
And while not a popular fact, one should also note that bread also has sodium content. Although its content is not as high as the ones mentioned above, bread has sodium.
All of these foods also have high-calorie content. Aside from that, most of these foods are addictive. They are easy to overeat.
And so, if one’s diet is composed of snacks, bread, fried chicken, fries, and the likes, this is the explanation.
This type of diet is not only full of salt. It also has a lot of calories. This explains why salt, although indirectly, makes one fat.
Can I go on with life without salt at all?
Salt in huge amounts can be dangerous. One needs to continue its consumption at just the right amount. With little to no salt, one risks the body getting Hyponatremia. The condition brings with it low blood sodium levels. It can have devastating effects.
Sodium is an essential electrolyte. It is also the main component of a popular condiment – table salt.
When one consumes too much sodium, one runs the risk of high blood pressure. Experts recommend a certain level of sodium intake per day.
While some studies show that 2,300 mg of sodium per day is safe, others point at lower levels. Other experts even suggest sodium consumption should not be more than 1,500 mg per day.
While consuming more can be devastating, consuming too little can also be bad.
Here are 6 of the devastating effects of consuming sodium less than necessary.
Studies show that low sodium consumption can lead to the body’s resistance to insulin over the years.
When one’s body is resisting insulin, the body’s cells do not react well to insulin signals. This leads to a higher level of insulin in the body. At the same time, this increases the body’s sugar levels.
The body’s increasing resistance to insulin is one of the major causes of diabetes. Aside from Type 2 diabetes, this is also a cause of many heart diseases.
Note, however, that studies linking low sodium to insulin resistance are never consistent. Some studies do not show increased resistance.
These studies, however, vary. Some are conducted longer than the others. There is also a difference in the amount of salt that is restricted from the diet. This can perhaps clarify the inconsistencies of the results.
Hyponatremia happens when there are low levels of sodium in the blood.
Hyponatremia’s symptoms are quite similar to that of dehydration. In some cases, Hyponatremia can be severe. Headaches, coma, and seizures characterize this. Sometimes, this can also be fatal.
Older adults have a higher risk of getting HyponatremiaHyponatremia. This is because the more an individual ages, the more susceptible he is to illnesses. Certain medications can reduce sodium levels in the blood.
Athletes are also at risk of HyponatremiaHyponatremia. This is common, especially to those that do long-distance endurance sports. This is because of drinking too much water without replacing sodium. Sodium, in this case, is lost through sweat.
There are times when the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body to meet the body’s needs. This is when heart failure comes into the picture.
This, however, does not mean that the heart stops functioning altogether. But no matter the case, heart failure is a serious illness.
It is interesting to note, however, that heart failure is linked to low sodium diets. The risk is higher than those with enough sodium.
A study shows that certain people that have heart failure have limited sodium intake. The link to a low sodium diet is too strong. Those with restricted sodium intake have a 160% higher risk of dying due to heart failure. This is when compared to those that have enough sodium.
Something is concerning about this study. Most individuals with heart failure are often told to restrict their sodium consumption.
But this is based on a single study. As this progresses, the scientific world needs to look into these possibilities further.
Salt and the Blood Pressure
A reduction in sodium intake can indeed lower one’s blood pressure. However, blood pressure is just one part of the equation. It is a risk factor for a specific disease.
What is essential is to identify hard endpoints. This includes heart attacks or even the possibility of death.
There have been other studies that point out the effects of low sodium on the body. These have been specific to how it affects heart attacks and strokes. The study also correlates low sodium intake to a high risk of death.
It was found that an individual with less than 3,000 mg of sodium in a day has a higher risk of dying from heart disease. The same is true with the chances of dying from heart attacks and strokes.
Another study echoes this result.
There are others, however, that have conflicting results. Another study was conducted in 2011. It pointed out something conflicting. The risk of dying from heart failure is higher in individuals with higher sodium intake. This is when compared to those with lower sodium consumption.
As the debate rages on, there can only be one clear answer.
Whether one likes it or not, sodium intake should be just right; nothing more, nothing less.
Salt can be a blessing. It can also be a curse.
By being mindful of one’s consumption per day, one can turn the curse into a blessing. Ease off slowly on the consumption of salt. Develop the most creative ways to manage sodium consumption, especially on eating habits.
As a result, one would also be able to develop a slimmer, healthier body in the long run.