People these days make all possible efforts to lose weight by resorting to a strict diet plan and exercising. However, their efforts will be in vain if they do not reduce salt (sodium) in their diet. Doctors recommend that besides, reducing calories and increasing exercise, it is very important to minimize the intake of salt. Excessive consumption of salt causes water retention in the body thereby resulting in weight gain. Obesity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. You must have noted that the various crash diets that help in quick weight loss include foods with less salt content.
Need for Salt in your diet
Sodium plays a significant role in our overall diet and is necessary for proper functioning of the body. Your body requires at least 500 mg per day of salt. Salt (sodium) is needed to maintain appropriate balance of fluids in the tissues. Salt helps in transmission of nerve impulses. Adding a small amount of salt in your diet helps in the functioning of muscles and maintaining proper blood function.
Low salt diet vital for weight loss
Majority of foods consumed by you already contain some amount of sodium in it. Adding salt increases the sodium content and leads to improper functioning of the heart. Excess sodium intake causes increase in blood volume due to which the heart has to work harder in moving blood through the vessels. This also enhances arterial pressure thereby leading to heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure. Reducing salt intake will help you in losing weight, as your body throws out the water it was retaining.
Ways to reduce sodium intake
- Do not add salt to cooked rice, pasta, and hot cereals. Reduce intake of instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes that have added salt.
- Add herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame to your foods. These contain additional flavors without the extra sodium.
- Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are lower in sodium. You must opt for these cereals.
- Avoid processed foods, as they tend to be high in sodium.
- Drink plenty of water to stay fit. Water helps in flushing out excess salt. It also reduces craving for unhealthy foods because you feel full.
Although salt is essential for proper functioning of the body, it is advisable to have it in lesser quantities for effective weight loss.