Fitness Contrarian Principle # 9 – Cut Down on Sodium

You have to cut down on sodium to have a healthy diet. Most people in America eat an average of 3,400 mg of sodium a day while the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is less than 2,400 mg which is just about a teaspoon of table salt. I recommend you limit your sodium to no more than 1,500 mg per day and even less, if you have high blood pressure. I try to eat less than 1,000 mg of sodium per day.

Research has shown that reducing your sodium to less than 1,300 mg per day can reduce artery stiffness by up to 46 percent in just two weeks. If you are concerned about heart disease or high blood pressure; therefore, cut down on your sodium intake.

One of the problems with sodium is that people don’t realize just how much they are consuming. Just because you don’t use the saltshaker does not mean you’re not consuming a lot of sodium. There are large amounts of salt in all the processed foods we eat. Fast food, pizza, breads and cereals are all loaded with sodium. You really have to start looking at labels to actually see how much you are consuming per day.

Another benefit of eating less salt is you lose weight. I had a client who went to a doctor for high blood pressure. The doctor told him to eat no more that 1,500 mg of sodium a day and he lost over 35 lbs in a few months and got his blood pressure under control. I wrote an article called Reduce Your Sodium and Lose Weight where I talked about how he lost weight. The article also included tips on how to take the salt out of your diet.

The best way to reduce your salt is by eating whole natural foods. There is some sodium in natural foods so don’t be concerned that you’re not getting enough in your diet. For example, these vegetables naturally contain the following amounts of sodium:

  • Beets – 40 mg sodium per 1/2 cup, boiled
  • Celery – 50 mg sodium per 1/2 cup, raw
  • Spinach – 65 mg sodium per 1/2 cup, boiled
  • Kelp – 65 mg sodium per 1/2 cup, raw
  • Swiss Chard – 160 mg sodium per 1/2 cup, boiled
  • Beet Greens – 175 mg sodium per 1/2 cup, boiled

We all have to limit our  sodium intake per day to have a healthy diet. If anyone has any low sodium recipes, send them to me so everyone can see them.

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Best – Mike Cola

Fitness Contrarian – Fitness Blog

About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

3 Responses to “Fitness Contrarian Principle # 9 – Cut Down on Sodium”

  1. I actually have the opposite problem. I recently had a blood test and the doctor says I’m so low on sodium I have to add it any opportunity.
    They put it down to over exercising, I exercise so much I sweat all the salt out.
    The problem it has caused is that water in not able to enter my cells efficiently and I fee de-hydrated all the time cause the water just passed thru my body… so I enjoy salt now.

  2. Mike,

    Great post. In addition to the health benefits, a low sodium diet also helps you appear more lean because it reduces the sodium ions in your subcutaneous fluid beneath your skin.


  3. @ Raymond

    I’m glad the doctor was able to figure out you were low on sodium. You must really be eating well and training hard to get your sodium so low.

    In your case .. enjoy the salt

    @ Alykhan

    If I eat a high sodium meal at night, I can be a few pounds heavier in the morning.

    Best – Mike