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Shakin' It Up with the Skinny on Salt

The Danger is Not in the Shaker


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  • it's not the sodium, it's the sodium CHLORIDE. its the sodium NOT NATURALLY FOUND IN YOUR FRESH FOODS. It's the sodium contributed by the little word SALT listed in the ingredients list.

    I eat less then 1,000mg of sodium but I can still get practically 1,500 just through what I eat. For instance, Celery, Egg whites, Spinach, Chard to name a few - are very high in naturally occurring sodium.

    While this sodium can still raise your blood pressure and therefore you should moderate how much you eat and how it affects you - this sodium is also very accessible for your muscles, brain, etc to use and it's just as easy for your body to excrete and get rid of.

    It's the CHLORIDE in the sodium chloride in your salt shaker that sneaks into the walls of your cells and forces the cell to inflate with water - causing an imbalance in your body (when you start to feel super thirsty after consuming salt) and therefore the water you drink needs to help put your body into a balance. Thus you get water retention.

    You don't get the same water retention if any at all when you get your sodium from your meats, grains, fruits & vegetables. - 4/21/2011 11:49:28 AM
  • It took a few months, but I was able to lower my bp to a normal range by watching the amount of sodium (decreased the amount) and potassium (increased the amount) in my diet. I agree that it usually means eating out infrequently and cooking most foods from scratch. But after reducing the sodium, I was able to taste the true flavor in whole foods. I get much more enjoyment out of eating now that I stay away from so much sodium. The sparkpeople food tracker really helps me keep an eye on the amount of sodium and potassium I consume on a daily basis. - 3/26/2011 5:21:06 AM
  • Great article. I have to keep my sodium done because of heart problems. When I first started watching my sodium count I was shocked how much sodium was in some foods. Now anything high in sodium taste bad. - 3/12/2011 7:28:30 PM
    I was really interested in this article. Unfortunately, I couldn't read it because of an ad that kept cutting off most of the article. - 12/23/2010 10:07:02 PM
  • I'm off my BP meds now because I have been vigilant about my salt intake. Mrs. Dash is a great substitute. Plus, I'm trying to eat more home cooked meals and not depending on prepackaged convenience foods. - 12/10/2010 12:39:37 PM
  • Great topic! Tracking your sodium is a great way to prevent heart problems later on. There are some good low sodium cooking books, websites, etc too.,, are just a few that have saved me from a heart transplant. - 12/10/2010 9:52:01 AM
  • My taste buds have seemed to be particularly sensitive to salt all my life. Even as a child I couldn't eat such things as scrambled eggs when salt had been added during the cooking. So, as I began cooking myself, I always cut back on the salt--sometimes omitting it entirely. When making all of my "old family recipes" and any new ones, I always cut back (at least 50%, if not more) on the salt. And, since I've been using sea salt, I can cut even that reduced amount in half as sea salt has a more intense flavor so you need to use less.

    I use a lot more herbs and spices to flavor foods and, although my family knows this and I always tell guests that I cook with very little salt, if any, and they should feel free to add salt at the table if they want, usually after tasting the food they don't.

    And for those who have to switch to a low- or no-sodium diet, it will take about 3 weeks to get used to the diet--after that you'll see that the really true taste of foods comes out and that it tastes great. - 6/13/2010 2:49:33 PM
  • I use Mrs. Dash Non Salt Products With All My Cooking. Comes In Different Flavors. - 5/10/2010 4:03:10 PM
  • Does water consumption offset sodium intake at all? - 4/21/2010 12:09:57 PM
  • I have to watch the salt,as I have high Blood pressure. I Try hard to avoid too much processed foods, and for the most part, I do well.As long as i do most of my cooking from scratch, and don't eat out much. Dr Oz Also recommended trying Himaylan salt, because it is purer than regular salt.I Think I will buy it since there's a factory near by here.and The cost may be lower because of that. That and I 'm Curous to see what the fuss is about! - 4/15/2010 11:15:36 AM
  • Great article. I have eliminated most add salt from my diet, especially from the salt shaker, since my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The only sodium I intentionally add is from hot sauce. I try to always choose low or no sodium canned goods or make my own. I also was very surprised how much sodium naturally occurs in foods. Who would think some veggies contain sodium. - 3/21/2010 10:24:19 PM
  • I usually have between 1500 and 2500mg of sodium, but one day I had a can of the Smart Ones soups for lunch and a frozen dinner for dinner... and my sodium for that day was over 20,000mg!! I couldn't believe it! - 2/17/2010 11:35:59 AM
  • Have been surprised or amazed at how much salt naturally is present in foods. My blood pressure was a bit high and the doctor said cut back on salt! When I began tracking it I was shocked. 95% of my cooking is scratch but now I know cheese is a salt mine and I do love cheese. Thanks for the good information. - 2/10/2010 10:56:25 PM
  • This article has so much vital information for me. I am constantly trying to avoid food with high levels of salt. That is not an easy task. - 2/10/2010 11:17:56 AM
  • Salt is such an important element in our diets and so easy to get too much. I ask a question on the Dr. Oz website about the possible danger of aluminum in antiperspirants, cooking utensils , foil etc. as related to Alzheimers. I was surprised when the answer came back that table salt had aluminum in it to prevent clumping. He recommended using SEA SALT which is free of that aditive, since some studies indicated a possible connection to Alzheimers and mental illness from aluminum derivities. - 1/28/2010 6:05:27 PM

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