If you’re eating way too much salt—because it’s a habit, or you simply like the taste, or you’re trying to add some seasoning to the-not-so-flavorful dish you just cooked—read on for some insightful (and perhaps alarming!) truths about these white crystal compounds. In the story below, Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, LD/N, dietitian, of Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, shares reasons to avoid a high-sodium diet; in a follow-up feature, Robyn Priebe, RD, nutrition leader at Green Mountain at Fox Run, provides easy tips to reduce your sodium intake.
By Kimberly Gomer, MS,RD,LD/N, Dietitian, Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, Miami, Florida
It is important to distinguish SODIUM (naturally found in foods) and SALT (what we ADD to foods; processing of foods, etc.)
- You get all the sodium you need from foods—no need to add any extra because there is sodium naturally in many foods (veggies, starches, dairy, etc.).
- The research is crystal-clear that high blood pressure is the result of a high-salt/sodium diet.
- A half-hour to one hour after you eat a high-sodium meal, the endothelial tissue in your arteries stiffen—that means even if you do not have high blood pressure, you will injure your arteries.
- Salt is added to almost every processed food. The more salt you eat, the more you continue to crave salty foods. As a result, you will lose weight easier, with less cravings, if you do not eat high-sodium and salty foods.
- Salt makes you retain water, which gives you a bloated look and bloated feeling.
- When eating a healthy amount of sodium (limiting added salt and processed foods), you actually start tasting your food better—this gives you more satisfaction and enjoyment from eating fresh, whole foods.
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