Your body actually needs some sodium to transport nutrients and for muscle contraction -but not all that much.
Water is a big part of your weight loss success. I’ve already talked about how much water you need to consume. But what about retaining water which can increase your weight by as much as 5lbs in one day! I’m talking sodium, people. You only need about 500mg per day but 2400 mg of sodium per day is the recommended limit for most people which is about 1 teaspoon. This includes salt that is already in your food and the salt you add to your food.
Common culprits are canned veggies, soups and meats, most processed foods including processed meat (like hot dogs, sausage, bacon and ham) , some dairy (like cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt), desserts and baked goods (including bagels and muffins), sauces and gravies, cereal and salad dressing. What a lot of people don’t realize when they are eating carbohydrates, is that it is the sauce it’s smothered in that causes the biggest problem. 1/2 cup of alfredo sauce has about 1080mg of sodium!
A common weight loss tip is to fill up on soup before your meal so you will eat less. However, 1 serving of soup is often at minimum 700 mg of sodium. Keep in mind that a can of soup may be 2 or more servings. If you are ordering soup from a restaurant, there is typically more sodium and bigger portions.
When you are shopping for typically high sodium products like soup, tomato sauce, etc. look for low or reduced sodium, no sodium or no added salt products. You can also make your own soups, sauces and baked goods and buy fresh or frozen veggies to control the amount of sodium in your food.
Below is a link to the National Heart and Lung Institute’s tips for reducing sodium intake and another link for their suggestions on flavoring your food:
To see how much sodium is in the foods you eat click the link below for the USDA’s nutrient report. Click the “A” next to sodium for a list in alphabetical order or the “W” to sort by nutrient content.