Lightly Salted Please
Many diet programs encourage you to cut back on, or completely eliminate sodium from your diet while trying to lose weight. Using too much sodium can cause fluid retention which presents as excess weight; but not having enough sodium can cause problems with the levels of calcium and potassium in the body. So how much should you have? First, realize that while on the Liquid Amino Diet, some sodium will come from the food you are already eating. Second, MODERATION!
A little known fact about salt and sodium is that sodium accounts for only 40% of the weight of salt. That means that one teaspoon (6g) of regular table salt has 2,400 mg of sodium, which is over the recommended amount by 900 mg according to The American Heart Association. They recommend that an adult with normal blood pressure, get between 500 and 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Much of our sodium content should come from the foods we are eating. For instance:
- One 4 ounce piece of cooked chicken (beef, veal) has 80 mg of sodium.
- One 4 ounce piece of cooked fish contains 60 mg of sodium.
- One teaspoon of mustard contains 70 mg of sodium.
- One tablespoon of soy sauce contains 900 mg of sodium. The same portion of lite contains 330 mg of sodium.
- The most surprising place you find sodium is in antacid tablets. These contain sodium bicarbonate which has 27% sodium by weight. Therefore, each gram has 270 mg of sodium. Two Alka-Seltzer tablets contain 1,000 mg of sodium.
As with many things, moderation is the key to maintaining a healthy sodium level in your diet but here are some guidelines to point you in the right direction.
- Check your ingredients list because you might also find these names: monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrite and sodium citrate. Watch out for these.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables which can boost your body’s potassium levels. Potassium helps your kidneys excrete excess sodium.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. While it won’t necessarily flush out excess sodium, it can help balance the fluid levels in many tissues.
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