Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lose Weight - Eat Less Salt

You have probably heard that many types of foods can cause you to gain weight, ranging from greasy foods to ice cream. But you might be wondering how sodium, or what we often refer to as "salt," can cause you to gain weight. The idea just may sound absurd to you. Here, we will take a closer look at why too much sodium can cause weight gain and what you can do in order to prevent it from happening to you.

Salt does not cause your body to gain or lose fat. In fact, salt has no calories. High consumption of salt only results in temporary weight gain as it causes your body to retain water. Conversely, low consumption of salt can result in temporary weight loss as it causes your body to expel water.

It is interesting to note that many crash diets which boast quick weight loss rely on foods with little or no salt content. The weight loss is mostly water, and as soon as you eat foods containing salt again you regain the weight.

With age, our bodies become more sensitive to the blood-pressure-increasing effect of sodium, and daily requirements drop to 1,300 milligrams for adults aged 50 to 70 and 1,200 milligrams for people over 70. (Children aged 1 to 3 need 1,000 milligrams a day; 4- to 8 year-olds require 1,200 milligrams.)

For most adults, the daily upper sodium limit is 2,300 milligrams, the amount in one teaspoon of table salt. If you’re over 50 or have high blood pressure, you should consume less.

Since 77 per cent of the sodium we consume comes from packaged foods and restaurant meals – not the salt shaker – reading nutrition labels is key to reducing your intake.

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