Weight Loss
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What's the big deal with watching Sodium Intake?


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I don't get it? Does retaining water somehow cause your body to retain fat too? Sodium is yummy, sure it can be bad for your cholesterol levels, but it doesn't actually make you fat right?

Every time I talk to a fitness buddy or someone else who's dieting they say "you gotta cut back on your sodium intake" and when I ask "why" they always say "because it eliminates water weight"... What does that have to do with the ~30 lbs of FAT that I NEED to lose? I drink 1-1.5 gallons of water a day, how exactly does eliminating water weight help me lose FAT? No one ever seems to have an answer for that.

I'm counting my calories, and getting all my vitimins, so what's the harm in eating some delicious, sodium laced, low calorie, low fat snack? (provided my cholesterol and blood pressure levels are still all good... which they are)
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Consuming too much sodium in one day (more than 2400mgs) on a frequent basis is bad for your organs, especially your liver.

If you eat a lot of sodium, or more sodium that you usually do, the scale will increase with "fake weight", which can freak a person out and cause them to fall off the wagon, so to speak.

That's all.
High Blood Pressure too...which is just a risk factor to general health (heart attack, stroke, etc)...just got back from the doctor...we had a little conversation about this :)
Yup, good one, I forget about the high blood pressure.
But as her point was: It wont actually help you lose weight to have less salt.  It can just help stabalize the scale and keep you healthy right?
Salt has no calories, so it won't cause you to gain body mass.
Technically holding more water will increase your metabolism because you will use up more calories holding the water... so it can make you lose weight... however.. not enough to be significant.
I'll worry about my sodium when I hit 50 years of age...
Like I said, my Blood Pressure (despite being 30 lbs overweight) is perfectly healthy (helps to be athletic I guess). and I'm only 29, so I'll keep an eye on it, but otherwise I don't think I'll sweat the sodium for now... as for the scale, I've gotten used to it swinging 4-5 lbs either way in a single day so it's not going to bother me.
Funny - when you're sick and admitted to the hospital, what do the Dr's infuse into your veins? Hmmm - Normal saline - 0.9% Sodium ... :)

Food for Thought :)

Stacie
i like the ' i dont think ill sweat the sodium' quote... Surely thats excatly what your going to do!

So guess as long as you hit the gym and swaet it out you can sprinkle the salt on your dinner
Not to bring the thread down or anything, but...

Watching your sodium intake & BP are important whether you are trying to lose weight or not.  My father was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at age 46 and died 8 years later due to high BP through his 30s and 40s. (partially caused by high sodium intake).  After his initial diagnosis, he was able to restore almost half his original heart function by eliminating excess sodium from his diet and light exercise.  (And some meds)

Obviously, it doesn't happen to everyone, but if you have a family history of heart problems, it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on it...  (I do!)
saldelmundo-  I reread your post and saw that you mentioned your blood pressure is normal so that wasn't your concern...sorry about that!  From what I know (hardly an expert here) I agree with you that it isn't going to help you lose FAT.

Salt is an important part of our diet, so it's not a matter of cutting it out entirely, just watching the intake so you are not consuming ghastly amounts of it, it really can sneak up on you because like sugar it is not always obvious that it is there or how much..over time a diet high in sodium will take it's toll, especially if you have a family history, but it is only one possible factor in high blood pressure (according to my doctor).
just found an interesting article from a website that someone else posted elsewhere in the forum:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/likness14.htm

I chalk it up to anything in excess can't be good for you. Moderation is the key. Water retention doesn't just affect the scale. If it's prolonged, all that fluid build up in your body puts unneeded stress on your internal organs (heart, liver, kidney's specifically) and can cause damage. When the blood volume is high due to higher sodium level, the heart has to pump harder increasing the pressure and thus raising blood pressure. This isn't an over night affect. With most things pertaining to the body, it's the long term affects you have to worry about.

You say that your blood pressure is fine, but I would still try to keep within the 2400 mg recommended intake, just as a safeguard. And as long as you are having your doc monitor your BP, then you should be fine.

Stacie- The reason they give you that saline is because your body requires at roughly 500 mg of sodium for daily functions. Also, if the body doesn't get enough sodium,  the lack of it, ironically, inhibits the absorbtion of water into your cells and can cause and exacerbate dehydration. The salinity of blood in the human body is 0.9% sodium chloride, which is why that saline solution contains .9% of it. It's to keep the sodium level in the blood stable so the body can properly absorb the rest of the fluid in that bag.

It's all about the proper balance.
I think if your blood pressure is low to normal you should not be worried about salt.  Especially when you're dieting and cutting out so many other delicious flavors (fat, sugar, etc).  From what I understand, it's not going to affect your overall weight loss long term.  A few pounds of "water weight" is not going to drop your pants size.

I get over the RDA daily, but my blood pressure tends to be on the low end of the scale so I don't worry about it.  If anything, maybe it helps keep me from going too low & getting dizzy.

On the other hand, when I used the analysis tool I was kind of shocked to see how far below the RDA I was for fiber on a regular basis.  From what I understand, that can have an impact on weight loss.
Zeul, fiber is SO important.  It's hard to get enough if you're eating a lot of processed or prepared foods.  Make sure you eat plenty of whole grains -- oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc. -- and lots of fruits and vegetables.  Beans are a great source too.
Yeah, I don't eat a ton of processed foods, but I'm not a big bread/rice/oatmeal eater either!  I've been trying to eat more of those things, and I've been eating more beans.  Any ideas what veggies are particularly good sources of fiber? 
I agree with everyone here about the fact that increased sodium intake over a long period of time will pose a health risk.  Right now though, it's difficult to keep my sodium levels down to an acceptable level (below 1500 daily).  This morning I had low-fat eggos, cottage cheese and strawberries, the total sodium was about 840mg which is alot... but other than the sodium it was a healthy breakfast.

As companies and people become more aware of the dangers of sodium there are more and more low sodium products out there and I will take advantage of that when they appear on the shelves, so I'm hoping over time I will be able to decrease my sodium intake without sacrificing the foods I love.
Sodium has nothing to do with your cholesterol levels.  Cholesterol is from fat intake not sodium.

The reason IV solutions are sodium is because our blood is 97% saltwater and if your are in the hospital to prevent dehydration they hook you up to the IV.  Your organs need "volume" and if you don't have enough water in your body your organs will shut down.  Too much sodium is bad if you have blood pressure issues.  I have to watch my sodium intake cuz I am borderline hypertensive, but I also consume alot more than the 2000mg recommended.- but I also exercise and sweat alot and drink alot of water.  My husband has low sodium blood levels and eats salty foods all day long.  He has low blood pressure so can get away with it.  I have to eat no sodium added foods and don't add salt to any of my food whereas he adds salt to everything. 

Since your young enjoy the salt while you can but be sure to pay attention to your blood pressure as the years pass cause things can change quite quickly.  I have a home blood pressure test kit but the next time you go to the pharmacy check your blood pressure in their machines. 
I find that I feel so gross on days that I consume way over my sodium intake. It makes me feel way more bloated and uncomfortable.
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