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
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Best – Mike Cola
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