We’ve all heard of the sweet tooth and how sweet tasting food draws us to it like a magnet. But, we also have a salt tooth.
Processed salt, which is different from the healthier natural unprocessed salt such as sea salt, is just delicious, plain and simple. There’s a reason we add processed salt to our food. And to be fair to salt, it is absolutely necessary for bodily function. The problem is we simply eat too much of it especially at restaurants that serve salt-laden entries which are addictive and keep us coming back for more. Repeat customers are good for business! But, too much salt leads to higher blood pressures and greater risk for heart disease.
Nine out of 10 Americans (that’s 90%) eat almost double the recommended daily intake, averaging over 3,500mg per day.
My salt tooth made me want to go to get my salt fix at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We used to go several times a week, but when we started eating healthy a while back, we hardly ever do Mexican any more.
Well, I was craving Mexican food and a marguerita. So, Joyce and I went with friends to Pablonos Thursday night.
I knew from experience that the next morning that I would be bloated and have some weight gain which I did. And I knew that my blood sugar would be up which it was. Nevertheless, we went, and I paid for it.
My blood sugar was high, 196, in spite of talking extra insulin before the meal and before bed time.
My weight was up which was to be expected too. On Friday’s weigh-in, I showed a weight of 234.4, a gain of 1.1 pounds. “No problem.” I thought. “I’ll just walk a little extra and drink more water. Saturday morning, I will be back to 233.1 pounds.”
So, I walked 4 miles instead of two. Ate healthy small meals, and drank lots of water.
Surprise, surprise, instead of losing even just an ounce, I showed another weight gain of .3 pounds. That put me at 234.7 compared to 234.4 on Thursday morning. That’s a gain of 1.6 pounds in two days!
This morning, I Googled different topics to see if I could figure out what was going on. I got several hits that answered my question.
First, there is some animal research to show that a high sodium diet may affect the activity of fat cells, making them larger.
Second, fluid is attracted to sodium like a magnet, so when you take in too much, you retain more water. Short-term, this means bloating and puffiness and long-term, extra fluid creates stress on the heart, which has to work harder to pump the fluid through your body. The added work load on the heart and pressure on the artery walls can damage the cardiovascular system and raise blood pressure.
Third, for losing weight, ditching processed products and reaching for fresh food is the best foundation.
“Sodium is naturally present in most foods and plays an important role in stabilizing the water balance within your cells. Your kidneys help regulate sodium levels in your body. However, when you consume large amounts of sodium by eating salty foods like I did Thursday night, you may experience water retention, which is also known as edema. Your body starts working to protect your kidneys, retaining water to help dilute the excess sodium. This leads to temporary bloating, a decrease in urine production and temporary weight gain.”
And that was from just one salty meal!
When we consume large amounts of sodium by eating salty foods, we probably will experience water retention. Our body starts working to protect our kidneys. Retaining water helps dilute the excess sodium. This leads to temporary bloating, a decrease in urine production and temporary weight gain.
So, the next time I go to Pablanos, it will be salt-free for me! Tossed salad and no dressing anyone? That’s what I’ll order for sure. Well OK. Maybe a few chips and salsa. I’ll count out 8-10 and eat slowly savoring every delicious bite.
Cutting down on salt might be the absolute best way to shed belly fat, fast. A new study has shown that for every extra gram of salt we eat in a day–that’s a mere ⅕ of a teaspoon, our risk of obesity climbs by 25 percent, according to a study at Queen Mary University in London. Researchers speculate that sodium alters our metabolism, changing the way in which we absorb fat.
If enough water is not consumed and our body’s overall water balance decreases, the body starts to hoard your existing water supply. This water accumulates in the body’s tissues and produces swelling in ankles, feet, arms and hands.
Have you ever noticed difficulty in making a fist the morning after Mexican or any restaurant for that matter. I have. That’s just after one meal too!
Now, our body needs salt. It is a necessary nutrient. It is an essential electrolyte that helps maintain the balance of water in and around your cells. Sodium is important for proper muscle and nerve function. It also helps to maintain stable blood pressure levels.
Our body regulates how much salt it contains. If levels are too high, we get thirsty and drink, and this speeds up the elimination of salt through our kidneys.
In the same way, our body tells us if we need. more salt. Common symptoms of low blood sodium include: weakness, fatigue or low energy, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps or spasms, confusion, and irritability.
If you think you suffer from low sodium, your doctor can run a blood test to determine if you are suffering from hyponatremia, low blood sodium.
God, the designer of our body, created it with a need for sodium. And, God provides for that need through natural food.
Some of these foods with naturally occurring salt are vegetables like Swiss chard, beets and beet greens, collards, eggplant, peppers, sweet and Irish potatoes, tomatoes, dandelion, mustard, turnip greens, artichoke, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, and spaghetti squash.
If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, try it. It’s delicious and there are great recipes and ideas on the Internet for using it.
Many fruits contain sodium such as dried figs, olives, fresh figs, watermelon, plums, grapefruit, bananas, grapes, passion fruit, and cantaloupe.
Legumes like garbonzo beans and black eye peas have naturally occurring sodium too.
These natural foods and probably many more contain sodium that they take up from the soil.
It’s quite amazing to me. The Scripture says, “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need” (Philippians 4:19). Taking care of everything we need includes our need for sodium that naturally occurs in a lot of vegetables, fruits, beans, and meat. Amazing!
My wife and I have pleasantly discovered that by eating healthy, natural food that we feel better and have energy. For me, my lethargy is gone. Plus, we both sleep good now. Good, restful, and deep sleep is such a blessing. And we think that it has come through ridding our bodies of processed food, junk food, and restaurant food.
Will I continue to go to Pablanos? Yes. But next time, I plan on eating a tossed salad and maybe their guacamole salad plus a few chips and salsa washed down with ice tea or water if I can sustain my will power to avoid the salty stuff.
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