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How much salt should I consume when on a diet?

Does excess salt prevent me from losing weight? The reason I ask is that foods low in fat tend to make up for it by being high in sodium? Is this why I am seeing cans of soup in the store which advertise being sodium-free.

Tue. Apr 17, 4:17pm

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Any excess salt added to food increases your risk for things like hypertension, high blood pressure, increasing your risk for heart disease. Salt also pulls the calcium and other minerals out of your system as it passes through you, contributing to osteoporosis. Studies have show in men a very high correlation between sodium intake and overall mortality levels.

"FINDINGS: The hazards ratios for coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality, associated with a 100 mmol increase in 24 h urinary sodium excretion, were 1.51 (95% CI 1.14-2.00), 1.45 (1.14-1.84), and 1.26 (1.06-1.50), respectively, in both men and women. The frequency of acute coronary events, but not acute stroke events, rose significantly with increasing sodium excretion. When analyses were done separately for each sex, the risk ratios were significant in men only. There was a significant interaction between sodium excretion and body mass index for cardiovascular and total mortality; sodium predicted mortality in men who were overweight. Correction for the regression dilution bias increased the hazards ratios markedly. INTERPRETATION: High sodium intake predicted mortality and risk of coronary heart disease, independent of other cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure. These results provide direct evidence of the harmful effects of high salt intake in the adult population."


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 4:36 PM

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It really depends on the individual -- how much salt you like and how much your body needs/can tolerate vary widely. Hypertension, for instance, has a huge genetic component.

I do think that processed foods are all terrible for sodium, though. If you cook low-cal for yourself it will taste better, and even if you have a real taste for salt it will have less sodium than almost anything out of a can.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 7:05 PM

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The program I am on is 1200 calories and 1500 mg of salt on average per day. It's called a "restricted" sodium program - it's not low enough to be able to call themselves "low" sodium. I'm not sure what the threshold is for it to be considered low sodium. When I was picking up my food one day there was a nurse picking up hers discussing the sodium. She says the program is actually VERY low in sodium and Dr's. usually recommend people that need to watch their salt intake to shoot for more like 2000 mg of salt a day.

Hope this helps!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 7:15 AM

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It's totally personal. I eat salt like some people eat ketchup -- on everything! As a dip, as a spice -- I eat it on watermelon and grapefruit - sometimes even on oranges. My blood pressure is always low and I don't retain water. It all depends on your body and how it reacts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 7:51 AM

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Eating a lot of high-sodium foods will also make you thirsty and possibly dehydrated.

When you should be drinking half your weight in ounces of water each day (e.g. 140 lb person should drink 70 oz of water), excess salt could deplete your hydration efforts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 10:06 AM

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How much sodium should I consume

one thing that scientists have found is a strong correlation between sodium vs potassium intake for health. For overall health, you need to keep as high a level of potassium as possible relative to your sodium intake. High sodium levels and low potassium levels lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Monday, August 27, 2007, 3:03 PM

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