Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Putting a Halt to Salt

I admit it, I’m a salt junkie. And snob. I have at least four different kinds of designer salts in my pantry and I use them all – liberally. But I know that cutting back on salt can limit cardiovascular disease and reduce bloating so it's time to make a change. 

Up until now I haven't been concerened about my salt intake - my blood pressure is super low so I always thought I was safe from the effects of salt. But it seems I'm always battling a couple of stubborn pounds that won't go away for good. And I just learned that my salty savories are probably to blame. Here's why:

When I get a craving for something salty I go for potato chips or other starchy foods starchy like crackers or pasta with oil, garlic and salt. And guess what? They’re high glycemic load foods (see yesterday's post). That means that chips and crackers and pasta are double whammy foods – they’re salty so I get bloated when I eat them; and once they’re in my system they turn into sugar and make me fat!

So even though I think I’m craving something salty because my crave faves are refined carbs, they're really masking the true craving that lies beneath the surface – sugar! Salt is my gateway for sugar cravings – crazy, huh?!

Now that I know better, I’m keeping the designer salts in the pantry, taking the salt off the table, and staying away from the chip aisle and all those starchy foods with high glycemic loads.

The only salt I will ingest will come from the few processed foods I eat, but that's where we have to be careful. So I'm going to check the sodium levels in all the processed foods I eat - I don’t eat many, but I will pay closer attention to their sodium content. And I'm going to heed Mayo Clinic's recommendation to keep my sodium intake at less than 1500mg per day. Check out this article from MayoClinic.com for some great tips on how and why to avoid salt and sodium.

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