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1,500 mg of Sodium a day? Seriously?


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Am I the only person who finds it extremely difficult if not nearly impossible to stay on target for my daily sodium intake?  When I first began CC a few weeks ago I was shocked and dismayed at the amount of sodium I was putting into my body.  It left a big impression on me and now I am looking at the sodium percentage on everything I eat.  Yet, this challenge is quite a daunting one.  I struggle to keep my sodium intake at or around 2800 - 3000 mg's a day.  I think I'm sodium sensitive which is why its always been difficult to loose weight.  I've been doing well but would really like to know if this is a challenge for others.

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I generally manage to stay close to 100 percent of the sodium goal by avoiding processed foods whenever possible. So I'm sure you've heard this before, but sticking to whole foods like fruit, veggies, nuts, lean meats, etc should help. I remember when I first started dieting, I bought myself a lean cuisine and couldn't BELIEVE how much sodium was in one little 350 calorie meal!

Well for the most part I am eating as many fresh ingredients as possible.  Things like bananas, apples, and mandarin oranges are typical snacks along with almonds.  But its when it comes to the main course I lose out.  I don't eat ham anymore and I try to stay away from deli meats too but everyday I seem to have my sodium quota by lunch.

Today is day 1 for me.  I am also salt sensitive and have sausage fingers whenever I don't watch the sodium carefully.  I've had breakfast, a snack (apple) and lunch and have used over my sodium amount already!  I thought I was doing well- 1 slice wheat bread, 2 oz turkey, mustard for breakfast, the same for lunch, and an apple.  Wow...who knew?

I try to be careful about my sodium intake, but never let it bother me if I go over, even by quite a bit.  That's what water is for. :)

I'm convinced it's impossible. I've already had to cut carbs. I'm not cutting sodium too. I don't know about long term affects, but I don't retain water very badly eating as much sodium as I do, so I'm not too concerned.

I don't bother too much about it.  If I'm pretty high on the sodium for a day I drink more water.

They've done research that seems to imply that for people who aren't at risk for heart disease, lowering your sodium intake could actually put you at higher risk.  It's good to see that they're looking into the possibilities that different people handle it differently.  Salt is one of those electrolytes that everyone talks about are so good for those of us who work out a lot.

I work hard to cut out sodium that's been used as a preservative.  If I want to add salt to food for flavor, then I go for it, and don't worry about it otherwise.

not the original source but a similar article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/03/salt.hea rt.attack/index.html

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I'm really surprised by this post.  I'm generally under 700 mg of sodium a day and I didn't find it that hard to accomplish.  If you are trying to lose weight you do need to watch your sodium intake just as you watch your sugar intake.  The same as concentrating on eating enough protein and fiber and fruits and vegetables.  I consider cutting back my sodium as part of my success in losing 100 pounds in the last 10 months.

Original Post by medaniupal:

I'm really surprised by this post.  I'm generally under 700 mg of sodium a day and I didn't find it that hard to accomplish.  If you are trying to lose weight you do need to watch your sodium intake just as you watch your sugar intake.  The same as concentrating on eating enough protein and fiber and fruits and vegetables.  I consider cutting back my sodium as part of my success in losing 100 pounds in the last 10 months.

 Having too little sodium can be just as bad as having too much.  I would not consider sodium limitations the same as sugar limitations, as sodium is something that can be balanced out by drinking extra water.

Sodium should be limited, don't get me wrong, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be used in that same regards.  Too much sodium can retain water, but water weight can be shed by... drinking more water or cutting back sodium.  It's not "real" weight.

Original Post by medaniupal:

I'm really surprised by this post.  I'm generally under 700 mg of sodium a day and I didn't find it that hard to accomplish.  If you are trying to lose weight you do need to watch your sodium intake just as you watch your sugar intake.  The same as concentrating on eating enough protein and fiber and fruits and vegetables.  I consider cutting back my sodium as part of my success in losing 100 pounds in the last 10 months.

 I agree with you! I'm also typically around 700 mg, and when I was a vegan, I even had trouble getting more than 300 mg per day. I don't understand what people eat, when they claim they're having trouble staying within the 1500 mg sodium limit?

Original Post by blueblooded10003:

Original Post by medaniupal:

I'm really surprised by this post.  I'm generally under 700 mg of sodium a day and I didn't find it that hard to accomplish.  If you are trying to lose weight you do need to watch your sodium intake just as you watch your sugar intake.  The same as concentrating on eating enough protein and fiber and fruits and vegetables.  I consider cutting back my sodium as part of my success in losing 100 pounds in the last 10 months.

 I agree with you! I'm also typically around 700 mg, and when I was a vegan, I even had trouble getting more than 300 mg per day. I don't understand what people eat, when they claim they're having trouble staying within the 1500 mg sodium limit?

Have you ever tried to use a canned tomato product?  Even with the low sodium ones, they're still high!  And honestly, taking the time to make some of the canned tomato products (tomato puree for one) isn't worth it unless you can can and store it for later (not an option for me, I'm low on storage space without canning food!)

edit: also eating out is very very high in sodium

Original Post by blueblooded10003:

Original Post by medaniupal:

I'm really surprised by this post.  I'm generally under 700 mg of sodium a day and I didn't find it that hard to accomplish.  If you are trying to lose weight you do need to watch your sodium intake just as you watch your sugar intake.  The same as concentrating on eating enough protein and fiber and fruits and vegetables.  I consider cutting back my sodium as part of my success in losing 100 pounds in the last 10 months.

 I agree with you! I'm also typically around 700 mg, and when I was a vegan, I even had trouble getting more than 300 mg per day. I don't understand what people eat, when they claim they're having trouble staying within the 1500 mg sodium limit?

 Thank you for agreeing.  The idea is to eat natural foods and healthy meats like fish that have little sodium.  I know that salt is important but did you all miss the Sodium issue a few months ago?  The FDA was considering lowering the Sodium number closer to 1000 if not 1000.  There are many studies saying that 1500 is bad for you.  Really you can find a study to say just about anything.  The important part is to watch your body.  I can tell the difference in a day that I go over 1000 mg.  I get puffy around my ankles.  That's not good - my doctor said so.

@Josielynn regarding canned tomato products.  You can find them with very little sodium.  Basha's - an Arizona grocery store - has a brand called Food Club.  I got canned tomato products with only 20 mg of sodium.  You have to read ALL the labels, not just the name brands.

I do read all the labels.  Guess we just don't get the low sodium stuff here in MD :-\

There an organic brand "Full Circle" here that's lower...but not low.  And they don't do tomato products.  I buy their beans and chickpeas, and I think they do veggies too.

I typically hover around 2000 mg.  I have low blood pressure which is the main reason you're supposed to avoid sodium to begin with, so I don't worry about it much.  My dad who suffers from high blood pressure and doesn't understand that sodium is used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in processed food (no matter how many times i've tried to teach him) probably gets 5000 mg.  For the typical American it's really easy to surpass that 1500 in one sitting.

Original Post by josielynn:

I do read all the labels.  Guess we just don't get the low sodium stuff here in MD :-\

There an organic brand "Full Circle" here that's lower...but not low.  And they don't do tomato products.  I buy their beans and chickpeas, and I think they do veggies too.

I typically hover around 2000 mg.  I have low blood pressure which is the main reason you're supposed to avoid sodium to begin with, so I don't worry about it much.  My dad who suffers from high blood pressure and doesn't understand that sodium is used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in processed food (no matter how many times i've tried to teach him) probably gets 5000 mg.  For the typical American it's really easy to surpass that 1500 in one sitting.

 Oh, it's totally easy for a typical American to bypass it in one sitting.  Being a typical American is what has made me need to lose so much weight.  I also have low blood pressure but I want to make sure it stays low in the future so I feel the need to start maintaining it now.  But just by the very nature of eating natural foods it's easy to cut it out. 

I'm into my 2nd week on CC and have never actively looked at my sodium levels before joining; my requirements are listed as 1500 a day but I rarely get that high; my average sodium intake since joining is 40 per cent of my recommended amount according to the Analysis charts.

I'm in the UK and generally I've not found it encouraged to supplement sodium levels as apparently get most of what we need in processed foods.

As I've suffered from high BP in the past it's not thought to be helpful for that.  So I was quite surprised when the CC said my intake was too low! 



I am almost always over. I am glad I am more aware of it now I think it really helps my cut back!

I was having a lot of trouble with the sodium intake, mostly due to the lunch meat I was making sandwiches for lunch at work.  I found it went way down when I went to the actual meat counter and had them take slices from their whole roast turkey breasts and roast beef chunks.  Same tasty sliced meat, WAY less sodium (since it's real meat, not chopped, pressed, formed and sliced meat)

To put this number into perspective, the limit I was told after a major heart attack was 2000 mg a day.  Then after six months, since my blood pressure is quite low, the doctor raised the limit to 2400 mg/day.  I average about 2000 and it is not easy, but it is do-able.

Also, if you use canned beans and rinse them thoroughly, you take out almost half of the sodium (this is per the dietician in cardiac rehab).

The sodium content of package lunch meat ranges from about 300 mg a serving to about 650 mg.  So you can decrease it by reading the labels and choosing the brands with lower content.  We make our own spaghetti sauce in a crockpot starting with no salt added tomato sauce (which I buy at Wal-mart, actually).  We added in spices and onion and let it sit on low for the day.  Then we add it about half the volume of a off the shelf spaghetti sauce (again check the labels and find one with the lowest sodium).  For some reason, that just makes it taste better than when we make it all from scratch.  In the end, we have decreased the sodium to about 30% of what we used to eat.

I believe there is a minimum requirement for sodium of about 500 mg per day.

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