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Weight Loss and Sodium Intake

Posted Feb 21 2010 12:00am
One of the secrets of weight loss is restricting sodium intake.  How does this work?  Sodium is the most common ion in the body.  Where sodium goes water follows.  Water is heavy.  So much of weight loss is water loss, but of course fat loss is important too.  A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that if sodium consumption in the U.S. were even mildly reduced, over 90,000 lives per year could be saved.  The American Heart Association notes that the AVERAGE American eats 3,436 mg of sodium per day, which is more than twice the daily recommended allowance.  Read the Nutrition Facts box, don't rely on the labels, because they can be misleading.

Second, use a salt substitute.  They use potassium and should not contain any sodium. Read the label.  Why isn't this more popular?  Potassium has a mildly bitter, weaker, and "un-salty" flavor.  Frankly, it's just not as good as sodium.  Most people refuse to use it.  I admit it's an acquired taste.  One way around this is to eat foods already higher in potassium than sodium.  In common wisdom, bananas are thought to have lots of potassium.  While bananas do have the highest known ratio of potassium-to-sodium (440:1), there are other fruits and leafy, green vegetables that contain more potassium per gram of food.  The king appears to be potato skin.  So here's one point for eating baked, not boiled nor fried, potatoes.  Of course, without sour cream, butter, and salt.

Third, don't forget to restrict what you drink.  Coffee, tea, and soda all contain sodium.  Tap water does also.  Greenville Water contains 8 mg/L of sodium and 0.8 mg/L of potassium.  I recommend people consider drinking distilled water when they are in active weight losing mode.  Every little bit of sodium restriction helps.  Think of this as diluting the body's excessive stores of sodium.  Many people over look this option.

Bottom lines: 1.  Restrict your sodium intake.  2.  Discipline.  This will get you to your goal of weight loss.  3. People ask me my secret for staying so young looking.  Good genes is first.  Second is good habits. From your Allergy Dude
(I had a longer and referenced version of this and then Blogger says the draft isn't saved.  GRRRRR!!)
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