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Eveveryone always talks about how you should not have too much sodium. Why? I know it sounds like a stupid question but I was just wondering. Does it prevent you from losing weight? Is it bad for your heart? Etc...

Tue. Jun 19, 4:08pm

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Healthwise, it exacerbates high blood pressure.

Dietwise, it causes you to retain water. I know that the sodium from 2 slices of pizza = 1.5 lbs of water retention the next morning (which disappears nicely by the following morning). It can drive you nuts to see that fluctuation though.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 4:47 PM

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While sodium isn't as bad for you as things like trans fats and processed sugars, it isn't just as simple as a bloating issue.

Too much sodium longterm (even if you don't have any conditions right now that require lowering/limiting sodium) can lead to bone loss in postmenopausal women, may raise your risk of gastric cancer, and can lower lung function in people with respiratory problems (such as those with asthma), it can also raise your blood pressure (which can lead to stroke, heart attacks and glaucoma).

Dietary guidelines (in America) right now recommend staying under 2300 mgs of sodium a day but we should really try to stay far under that range for our best health. The recommendation for those with (salt sensitive) high blood pressure, african americans, or those over 50 years old is 1500 mgs or less.

We do need some salt/sodium-it is essential for maintaining proper fluid balance, transmitting nerve impulses, regulating blood pressure and muscle contractions. The kidneys are responsible to controlling how much sodium is in your body fluids and taking in too much sodium can be taxing on the kidneys.

I wouldn't worry so much about the effect salt has on the scale-that goes away in a day or two if you are eating healthy otherwise. Enjoy food, but read labels-a lot of foods contain sodium that you wouldn't think would have it otherwise. People eat so much processed food today that we really are taking in too much sodium. It is easy to limit it by eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and eat processed food in moderation. Sodium doesn't have to be bad for you, but if you take in too much of anything, it can have really negative results. Be mindful of what you put into your body.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 10:30 PM

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