If you thought the secret to losing weight was simply calorie counting, think again. As our knowledge of weight loss and nutrition increases, we’re learning that weight loss isn’t just a simple equation of calories in vs. calories out. A lot of times, it’s calorie-free substances like sodium intake that can significantly affect your weight. Check out these seven weight-related benefits of lowering your sodium intake.
1. Excess Sodium Can Make You Retain Water Weight
A simple half-teaspoon of salt can make you retain loads of water weight without even realizing it. Many celebrities and A-listers swear by following a low-salt diet in the days before a big event. By not hanging on to any excess water, they look extra sleek and super toned.
2. High Salt Consumption Can Lead to Sugar Cravings
The body is always trying to stay in homeostasis, which is a fancy word for a state of balance. With that said, a diet high in salt is also thought to lead to excessive sugar cravings. So if you find yourself constantly craving ice cream, cake, and cookies, maybe it’s not just your sugar intake that needs to be changed. Maybe it’s also your salt intake.
3. Excess Sodium Can Also Contribute to Heart Disease and Hypertension
I know I’m here to mainly focus on the weight-related benefits of a low-salt diet. But it’s always good to think beyond the short-term and focus on the long-term benefits of a reduced sodium diet. Excessive sodium intake has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Cutting your salt intake now can lead to better health and longevity in the future!
4. Using Less Salt Helps You Appreciate Flavors Better
Sometimes, we get so used to salty foods that we don’t appreciate the natural flavors of foods on their own. Certain veggies, meats, and whole grains taste wonderful on their own and there’s simply no need to add any salt. Before you eat your next meal, taste your food first instead of immediately reaching for the saltshaker. You’d be surprised how palatable your food will taste!
5. Fresh Herbs Can Add Flavor and Phytonutrients in Place of Salt
If you’re trying to cut salt without losing flavor, look to herbs and spices as great salt-free alternatives. Spices like turmeric, curry powder, ginger, parsley, cilantro, and garlic offer a bunch of flavor and are salt-free! Even better, these herbs and spices offer valuable antioxidants and phytonutrients that can fight disease and premature aging.
6. Cutting Salt Intake Usually Means Cutting down on High-Cal Processed Food
If you’re watching your salt intake, don’t be surprised if some of your favorite junk foods go away for a while. Chips, crackers, and other snack foods you wouldn’t think of (like breakfast cereal) are often loaded with salt. One of the biggest culprits of salt is roasted nuts and seeds. Cutting these high-salt foods will also cut calories from your diet.
7. Eating Less Salty Foods Will Make You Happier and Healthier
Overall, a lower salt diet will lead to a less bloated tummy, fewer sugar cravings, and an overall better diet. Getting more conscious of your salt intake will in general make you more conscious of your diet, which will definitely result in weight loss.
Have you experimented with low salt diets? Did you find them palatable or totally disgusting? What techniques worked best?