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Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Effects Of Sodium In Your Diet

Most people just assume that sodium is bad for you and makes it more difficult to lose weight.  But in fact, sodium is an element that is crucial to the proper functioning of your body.  

Sodium participates in critical functions in the body.  It regulates blood pressure and blood volume.  The presence of sodium also allows for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves.

Sodium is everywhere.  It occurs naturally in most foods.  The most common way that it occurs is in the form of sodium chloride or table salt.  From fruits to vegetables to's there.  Sodium intake is recommended to be limited to approximately 1,500-2,500 mg per day.  Now, there is a difference between sodium and table salt.  Salt is only about 40% sodium.  Oftentimes people with high blood pressure are advised to minimize their sodium intake and one of the easiest ways to do this is by cutting out adding salt to any foods.  

With regards to sodium intake while on a diet...just avoid adding it yourself.  Sodium attracts fluid. It collects and holds it - so too much salt means too much liquid which can make you appear bloated.  This is primarily because the kidneys are responsible for eliminating salt from the body.  If there is too much salt, the kidneys can't eliminate it fast enough to keep up. The fluid retention is also capable of building around the heart. This will cause the heart to beat and function improperly, which can cause high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or even strokes and heart attacks.

Just like many other things, sodium is best for you in its natural state and in moderation.  So do your best to avoid fast foods which are extremely high in sodium and avoid adding it to your foods when possible.



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