Be careful about consuming salt as much as you are with sugar
This BBC News story about health leaders in the UK moving to regulate the amount of salt put in foods provides me with the perfect opportunity to discuss this important health topic that is just as important as watching your sugar intake when you are livin' la vida low-carb.
I'm pretty lucky. My vice has always been my sweet tooth. If something had sugar in it, then you can bet I had it in my mouth. I was literally addicted to sugar and ate it like it was going out of style. All of that changed when I began my low-carb lifestyle. Now just the mention of the word sugar causes me to cringe!
But some people have a strong craving to eat foods that are salty. My wife Christine is that way. She could eat a big bag of pretzels with thousands of milligrams of salt and it wouldn't faze her! Whereas, I'd have to opt for the salt-free version if I was eating pretzels.
I do eat lots of nuts and invariably I will get the unsalted version because I can't handle too much salt. Additionally, before I lost weight, I had trouble with my blood pressure and my doctor had me on a lower-salt routine that was the start of something wonderful for me. Although I once had to take blood pressure medicine, praise God today I am completely prescription medication FREE! Yippeeeeeee!
Nevertheless, salt can be bad news for your health in other ways besides increasing your blood pressure which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. The story notes that salt can cause the body to retain fluid (which hinders weight loss, by the way!) which leads to various health complications, be dangerous for infants whose kidneys have not yet fully developed, and much more.
Food manufacturers, especially in low-fat foods, load up their products with tons and tons of salt in an attempt to make them taste better. But the trade off for that "improved" taste is the overconsumption of something your body does not need an abundance of to function.
Don't get me wrong. We still NEED some salt in our body to regulate body fluids, send electrical impulses through the body and to help your cells absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.
However, it is recommended that people only eat 6g of salt per day. Unfortunately, the average person eats nearly 40 percent MORE salt than that at 10g a day. I know my wife eats AT LEAST that much daily.
Interestingly, it is estimated that 70,000 heart attacks and strokes could be prevented if the average amount of salt consumed in a day dropped to 6g.
We can blame processed foods for about three-fourths of the salt we consume followed by packaged meats and even bread. What makes it frustrating is that most people can't even seem to tell the difference between foods that are loaded with salt and those that have reduced salt content.
The Food Standards Agency in the UK has sent an ultimatum to the manufacturers of 85 products requesting that they drop the salt content in their foods. They believe if the companies comply with their request that the salt intake will dip to the 6g/day level they desire.
At this time, the recommendations are not mandatory, but highly suggested for these companies to follow.
But what about personal responsibility? People need to make the choice to limit their salt intake for their own health's sake. Why should the government even stick its nose in this issue. If you care enough about preventing the negative consequences of eating too much salt, then you'll take the necessary measures to make it happen for yourself.
Even if you think you can't live without salt, make yourself cut back significantly. There are better ways to "salt" your foods without salt just as there are alternative ways to sweeten your foods without sugar.
You will recall the outstanding salt substitute I recently told you about called AlsoSalt which tastes fantastic and is 100% sodium-free. It is made from potassium and you'll NEVER know you're not eating salt. You can still get a FREE SAMPLE by clicking here.
I did not know this, but the food labels that show you the sodium content in foods is NOT the same as the salt content in that food product. Actually, you need to multiply the sodium number you 2.5 to get the salt contained in the food. READ YOUR LABELS and pay very close attention to how much salt you are actually putting into your mouth.
Eating healthy on your low-carb lifestyle is extremely important. While sugar gets most of the attention when you are low-carbing, don't neglect the benefits of lowering your salt consumption as much as possible, too! It could make a big difference in your weight loss efforts as well. Salt could be a reason why your weight suddenly stalls out of nowhere!
One final thought: If you think you are eating too much salt already and want to flush some of the excess out of your system, try drinking MORE WATER. Nothing dilutes extra salt in your body better than good old plain water. Of course, this is a good idea anyway, but it is that much more important to rid your body of unnecessary salt and cure your thirst all at the same time. Here's to your health!