Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Low Sodium Diet

Good Humpday Morning :)

Last weekend I was asked if too much sodium in your diet can cause you to gain weight. I thought this would be a good topic because in our daily lives we eat sooooo much sodium and it really is not healthy for us. My answer to the question is...sodium itself does not cause you to gain "fat" weight, but you most definitely can gain water weight. And that water weight can be pretty significant.

Sodium (salt) is found naturally in our body and it's purpose is to regulate fluid balance, help the nervous system to send electrical impulses to the brain and stimulate muscle contraction. But too much sodium and this all gets out of whack. On a daily basis we should not consume more than 2,000mg of sodium. Now to put that in to perspective,  1 teaspoon of table salt contains 2,300mg. 1 teaspoon!!! So the average person consumes hundreds if not thousands of milligrams of sodium more than they should each day. So what's the big deal? Consuming too much salt can increase your blood pressure significantly. The excess salt causes your body to hang on to all that fluid rather than allowing your kidneys to filter it out through urine. This increase in fluid in your body gets into your blood stream causing more fluid volume in your veins and arteries. This in turn increases your blood pressure and causes your heart to work much harder. You can feel bloated, swollen, tired and muscle cramping.

Where does the sodium come from? ANYTHING that you eat that comes in a package is high in sodium. Cookies, crackers, lunch meat, frozen dinners, chips, etc. Most beverages are high in sodium. Take a look at the label on your juice, soda, whatever it is you're drinking. Spice blends are high is sodium too. So the next time you want to use Montreal Steak Seasoning, take a look at the sodium content.

My best advice on limiting your sodium intake is to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store. Meaning buy fresh ingredients. Stay away from the middle of the store. That is where all the packaged, processed foods are. If you do need to buy something such as canned goods, soups, crackers..look for "low sodium" options. They may be a bit more pricey, but it is worth it to be healthy. Use individual spices and herbs to season food rather than the spice blends. Buy lunch meat from the deli, not in the packaged meat department. DO NOT keep table salt around. It just isn't needed. I often omit salt from many recipes too and never notice it. I read somewhere salt is an acquired taste. As is adapting back to low sodium, so you will eventually be ok without tasting the extra salt. I actually find that if something is too salty, my taste buds freak out and it is not good to me so I won't eat it. Also many things that don't taste salty are high in sodium. Packaged chocolate chip cookies for example.

So start looking at your labels and pay attention to serving sizes as many things will have "3 servings per Package" and 500mg per serving. If you ate all 3 servings, you are getting 1500mg of sodium in one sitting!

Today's workout:
Total Body Strength and Cardio Blend This is just under 20 minutes long. It is a good one for beginners I think as you can omit the weights and just use bodyweight. It got my heart rate up and I was sweating, but it was not super intense.
10 minute full body workout from Just something to add to my workout, as I personally like to do 30 min per day (although if you are doing HIIT exercises it's not necessary ;)....)

Have a great day and Stay Active!

I had to use this picture today because I say this all the time to my husband lol so it made me chuckle :)