Sodium is often seen as the adversary of weight loss. Just think about it: after you eat something super salty, like potato chips or French fries, you ten to look and feel bloated. Surely salt is packing on the weight! This isn’t necessarily true, though. While many believe that sodium is the problem, it actually has more to do with the foods themselves. Confused? Here is the truth about sodium and weight loss.
What Is Sodium?
There is a difference between salt and sodium. The term sodium typically refers to what food manufacturers use to put flavour back into processed foods. It is also used to help preserve foods for longer. Salt, on the other hand, usually has to do with table salt. That is what we add to our dishes to give that extra bit of flavour. Sodium is often found in foods like processed meats, certain cheeses, frozen meals, and snack foods.
What makes this substance potentially problematic is that high amounts of sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure, the risk of stroke, and various kidney diseases. More problematic is the fact that the average adult should have no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium each day, yet the average person in North American consumes 3400 milligrams.
How Sodium Affects Appearance
While there are undoubtedly many health risks associated with a sodium rich diet, there are outward effects as well. Sodium is most known for causing bloating and water retention. This can cause you to look puffy, swollen, and generally heavier. When you are trying to lose weight, there is nothing more frustrating. To avoid this, drink plenty of water and skip adding salt to your dishes when you cook. You should also pay close attention to the nutritional information located on the food you buy. Keep a lookout for the sodium content and avoid buying products that are rich in sodium. It’s not good for your body or your waistline!
Does Sodium Cause Weight Gain?
Here is some shocking information: sodium itself doesn’t cause weight gain. Yes, it causes bloating and water retention, which looks like weight gain…but it doesn’t actually cause you to put on extra weight. The real culprit? Foods that have sodium are typically lacking in nutrients and antioxidants and are high in calories and bad fats. All of that put together puts you on the fast track for weight gain. So, it isn’t necessarily the sodium, but the foods that have sodium.
Without question, sodium should be avoided as much as humanly possible. You may be craving those pretzels, but they won’t do you any favours! It is always a good idea to skip foods with sodium. Why? It will improve your blood pressure and heart health – and also reduce the amount of processed foods you are consuming on a regular basis.
Losing weight isn’t just about calorie cutting. It’s about being healthy. To benefit your body inside and out, ditch the sodium. Instead, nourish your body with healthy foods. Yes, you read that right. Forget about all of that pre-packaged, over processed stuff. It is loaded with unnecessary calories that derail your weight loss.