The Silent Killer
Salt is the “silent killer” because most people don’t realize that they have high blood pressure until they get a reading, or tragically have a heart scare. High blood pressure has no symptoms and while it’s common for health-conscious people to track calories, it’s less common to track sodium.
Medical practices including The Mayo Clinic recommends and promotes usage of sodium in small amounts. “If your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, it starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, making your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels. This increases pressure in your arteries. Certain diseases such as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can lead to an inability to regulate sodium,” reports their website.
How Salt Sneaks Into Your Food
A recent analysis by Consumer Reports shows examples of how sodium sneaks into your diet through sample foods like the below (sodium per serve). Keep in mind that the maximum that anyone should be having per day on a 2000 calorie diet is 2400mg, so these numbers below really do add up fast. One study found the average salt intake for Canadians was a whopping 3,092 mg – over 30% more than the maximum recommended intake. Although there are no calories in salt, cutting back will naturally decrease your body weight.
- Jell-O Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix; 310-420 mg.
- Raisin-bran cereals; 230-350mg.
- Aunt Jemima Original Pancake and Waffle mix, 200 mg.
- Twizzlers black licorice, 200 mg.
Like any food addiction, the body becomes reliant on salt to maintain a balance if it has become used to excess, so there will be some side effects when you withdraw. Salt is everywhere, especially in processed food. Most Canadians eat more than double the recommended daily amount of sodium.
Canned soup, peanut butter, bread, ketchup, relish, canned vegetables, hot dogs, salad dressings and of course, junk food.
High fat foods usually are laden with salt, the devils combo…and super addictive! Thats why weight gain is not the be-all and end-all. Focus instead on trying to stop salt cravings. You may be silently suffering with high-sodium intake without realizing how it is effecting you.
Stop Salt Cravings By Eating These Super Foods
Increase potassium levels to stop salt cravings: shakes with banana, blue-green algae, yogurt and protein can help cut the cravings for high salt foods – as can fish, olives, tomatoes, seaweed based products, and celery. Read this article on how to get more protein without eating meat.
Exercise every day and sweat it out! Simply put, if you are eating too much salt, the body tries to get rid of the excess by sweating it out. Sweating is nature’s way to get rid of the mineral electrolytes that help your body distribute fluids, consequently helping to stop salt cravings so put your running shoes on and go for a walk – ten thousand steps per day, a little bit faster each time you go out. Your heart will thank you and you’ll feel so much better!
Salt is not the enemy when used as part of a healthy diet by eating balanced, natural foods but remember, the more salt you eat, the more sugar you’ll need. And that opens a whole other can of gummy worms.
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