Tuesday 12 December 2017

Are You Eating Too Much Salt?

Mmmmm…salt. It’s tasty. It’s a key addition to most meals. And it’s likely one of the main reasons you’re always thirsty, bloated or suffering from ailments like muscle cramps and fatigue.
Who knew?!
It’s easy to consume too much salt. It’s found in every canned or packaged food on the market, is added to every type of fast food and can even be added to bottled beverages. But just like too much sugar (or too much anything, for that matter), too much salt is not good for your body.
Over time, too much sodium intake can lead to heart attack and stroke—two diseases you really don’t want to mess with. This is why the American Heart Association encourages people to limit their consumption to only 1,500 milligrams of salt per day.
But how can you tell if you’re eating too much (without itemizing your nutritional intake all day)? Here are three major signs you need to cut back: 

1. You’re bloated and swollen, like you’ve gained weight overnight.

Salt acts like a magnet to water, causing your body to retain fluids when it really shouldn’t be. You’ll start to notice you’re “puffing up” due to this fluid imbalance, as though you’ve gained weight overnight.
Watch for: swelling to the point that after eating a meal high in sodium you can’t remove a ring that normally fits you.
Try: cutting back on your sodium intake, drinking more water to get the excess out of your system and enjoying more foods that help reduce bloating.

2. You’re unquenchably thirsty all the time.

If you eat a ton of salty foods, a normal amount of drinking water during the day just isn’t going to cut it. Your body is designed to essentially dilute the sodium you take in with fluids. If you’re overdoing the salt, that water won’t be able to keep up.
Liz Blom, RD, says, ”That Friday night pizza, it’s loaded with salt; and chances are, regardless of what you wash it down with, it is going to leave you dehydrated. Not only will you wake with an extreme thirst the next morning, you will possibly experience a slight headache or stomach upset.”
Watch for: thirstiness, even when you know you’re drinking an appropriate amount of water each day, or seemingly random headaches in the morning after a salty meal.
Try: finding a balance between the salt you eat and the water you drink.

3. Everything tastes beyond bland without a hefty sprinkle of salt.

Here’s the thing about salt: when you’re used to eating too much of it, your body begins to develop a taste for it. Over time, any lack of sodium will start to taste like it’s missing something when it isn’t.
Watch for: “salt addiction.” Are you adding far more to your meal than the others at the table?
Try: Savoring food as is. Learn to pick out and admire flavors that aren’t on the saltiness scale and watch how much you add during meals.

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