Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sodium Reduction

Monday was sushi night.  One of the healthiest dinner nights we have.  Seaweed, sliced cucumbers and carrots, rice, and kimchi.  Same as always.  When I woke up on Tuesday and stepped on the sacele IO saw a 3 POUND GAIN!  Luckily I've been doing this long enough to know that I couldn't have eaten enough to gain 3 pounds.  That would be 10500 calories.  (That's over 50 pounds of carrots.)  It was the soy sauce and gochajang (Korean red pepper paste) that were the culprits. 

Low sodium soy sauce has 575 mg of sodium in 1 tablespoon.  Gochajang has 554 per tablespoon.  The reccommended daily value is between 2300 - 2500 mg.  That's equal to about 4 tablespoons. 

Let's talk a bit about why sodium is bad. 
  • It causes the body to retain water (as seen on my scale)
  • It raises your blood pressure
  • It makes your kidneys work harder (As Ken says "sodium is the reason so many Asians are on dialysis.")
Here are a few  steps you can take if you overindulge in salt and sodium.

  1. Cut your sodium intake in half (around 1000 mg) for the next 2-3 days.
  2. Drink more water!  Cut out all other drinks and stick to water until your numbers (weight and inches) are back to pre-indulgence
  3. Rinse packaged foods to get rid of the extra salt on them.  Or stick to home cooked, nonpackaged for the next few days
  4. Exercise.  Sweat is partially made of salt.  Plus, when you exercise your blood pumps faster which helps clear salt out of the kidneys faster
On the flip side sodium and salt are necessary for your body to function.  Here are some of the benefits:
  • Controls fluid balance
  • Helps transmit nerve impulses
  • Influence the contraction and relaxation of muscles
CDC Sodium Facts Sheet
American Heart Association
Blood Pressure UK
Mayo Clinic
LiveStrong Sodium Cleanse 

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