Sodium and potassium are very important minerals in the body because the body relies on them to carry out different processes. Therefore, the body must have adequate amounts of the two nutrients, otherwise it will result in electrolyte imbalance, which will affect a number of body processes. Even though sodium is important, experts argue that it can cause weight gain for those who are trying to lose weight. People who are trying to shed off some weight are advised to adopt low sodium diets if they want to achieve their goals.
Sources of Salt
- Table salt- The salt we use for cooking contains sodium chloride which is absorbed into the bloodstream when we eat food.
- Processed foods- Most of the processed foods especially contain sodium. Most manufacturers add salt/sodium to enhance the flavor or to preserve the food.
- Natural foods such as spinach
Why Salt Causes Weight Gain
If the walls of the blood vessels are weak, they usually absorb a lot of salt from the bloodstream. Once there is a high sodium concentration in the bloodstream, the body will be forced to absorb more water to dilute this high concentration. Usually one feels hungry after consuming a diet that has a high sodium concentration. The sodium and water retention after a diet rich in sodium is usually likely to occur in people whose blood vessels have weak walls. The weakening of the walls of the blood vessels is usually caused by:
- Steroids and other strong drugs
- Blood vessels can also be weakened by eating too little food/insufficient and imbalanced diets
- High levels of estrogen in blood
Salt is assumed to affect weight loss among individuals who are affected by these conditions. It mostly causes weight gain among individuals whose blood vessels have weak walls as a result of the above factors.
What Happens After Sodium and Water Retention in the Bloodstream?
- Sodium retention that leads to water retention will lead to an increase in overall body weight. Therefore, retaining the two in the body will increase one’s weight by a very big percentage.
- With increased body weight as a result of sodium and water retention, the energy demands will increase.
- Increased energy demands as a result of increased weight will lead to increase in appetite. When the appetite level increases, one will be forced to eat more to cater for the increased energy requirements. Eating more leads to accumulation of calories in the body, causing more weight gain. When you eat more, the body takes what is necessary and then the rest is stored in the body in the form of glycogen and fat.
At this point, an attempt to lose weight by increasing food intake will only make one to go hungry. If you eat less than the body desired, you will remain hungry for the better part of the day. The results produced by eating less are usually short term as the whole cycle of sodium and water retention is bound to repeat itself. Most of the snacks that people on a diet eat are usually high in sodium. All salted snack, cereals and other food substances that have added salt will raise the sodium concentration in the bloodstream.
How Less Sodium in the Body Aids Weight Loss
Dieters can achieve their weight loss goals if they eat foods that are low in sodium. There are a number of low sodium diets that one can adopt in order to make this possible. A number of them are provided on the Internet and you can select a number depending on the kind of food that you like. When selecting a low sodium menu you should also remember to check for the ones that don’t provide a lot of calories. Less sodium in the diet will aid in weight loss because of the following:
- If you take in less sodium, the body will be triggered to release the sodium from the bloodstream.
- With a lower sodium concentration, there will be no water retention. The body retains water only when the concentration of salts and ions is high in the bloodstream.
- The body will excrete the water that it doesn’t need and therefore you will not gain weight based on water retention. This will in turn facilitate weight loss and lower the blood pressure.
- With a lower weight, the calorie requirements will be decreased. You will have a lower appetite and feel less hungry. With a lower appetite, you will consume less and this will facilitate weight loss.
Therefore a low sodium diet can play a very big role in weight loss. If you are planning to lose some weight, you should consider adopting one for yourself. It is important that you maintain such diets so as to ensure that you don’t regain weight again after you have achieved your weight loss goals. The diets are important because they will help in your weight loss goals and reduce your risks of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a serious condition that has killed so many people so by avoiding it you will be doing yourself a big favor.
Try a Low Sodium Diet
Low sodium diets are easy to adopt. You just have to identify a number of low sodium foods in the market and then use this to prepare your meals. You can also visit a dietician and ask them for advice on how to reduce sodium intake in your body. If you have been trying to lose weight without any success, then it is time you try out the low sodium diets. In the early days when there were no salt and processed foods, obesity and hypertension were very rare. Recently, the majority of the population is overweight and obese with a great number suffering from hypertension and other heart problems. Many of these cases can be attributed to the increased consumption of sodium.