You’ve heard it before from almost every source: nutritionists, health coaches, personal trainers, wellness blogs, Sally from next door, they all say the same thing: “Salt is bad!” “Watch your sodium intake!”
But, why? Well, there’s a few reasons. Here are two that are particularly important if you are trying to lose weight:
Eating a lot of salt can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. Here is why…
Your body tries to maintain a sodium/water concentration outside the cell walls that is approximately the same as sea water. When you consume sodium, your body holds on to water to maintain the right ratio. Consuming 400 milligrams of sodium (the amount in a single gram of table salt) causes your body to retain an extra 4 cups of water, which equals roughly 2 pounds of weight! So, when you eat that processed chicken or burger that on average has over 600mg of sodium, you will often see an overnight weight gain of 2 pounds. This can be extremely disheartening for someone who is working hard to lose weight.
There is also some evidence that high salt diets lead to an increase in appetite, causing us to eat more and ultimately consume more calories. A study by Friedrich C. Luft, M.D at the Center for Molecular Medicine found that urea, a bodily compound thought to be a waste product, has an important role in helping your body get rid of salt.
“Its function is to keep water in when our bodies get rid of salt,” Luft said. “Nature has apparently found a way to conserve water that would otherwise be carried away into the urine by salt.” But making urea takes a lot of energy, which leads to hunger! No wonder we so often fall completely off track after making only one small mistake in our diet.
Daily Salt minimum requirements are 180 mg with about 1500mg being a good standard to go by. If you choose a selection of different food options from your Ewyn food list, sticking to more complex carbs and non-processed food options, you will keep yourself within the recommended daily salt intake and watch those pounds drop off!