Watching Your Sodium Intake

Too much salt in your diet is bad.  It causes your kidneys to work that much harder to clear out the sodium in your system.  Sometimes, the kidneys cannot do this sufficiently, and kidney stones form.  The presence of kidney stones can cause considerable pain, depending on their size, location and number.  Consider how painful having a small pebble stuck inside your shoe could be.  The tubes in your urinary tract are very narrow, and having a kidney stone stuck in one of those tubes is very excruciating, to say the least.

Even if you are not worried about kidney stones, too much sodium is detrimental to your health.  It raises blood pressure, messes with your fluid and electrolyte balance and makes you retain fluids so you end up bloated with swollen extremities.  If you are watching your sodium intake, this article contains important information that you need to know.

While table salt is the major source of sodium in an average diet, many types of food contain significant amounts of sodium.  Examples are food additives such as sodium benzoate and disodium phosphate.  Sodium benzoate is a preservative, while disodium phosphate is used to improve the cooking quality of certain foods.  Without carefully reading nutrition labels, it is difficult to ascertain the sodium content of a food item.

Non-food items can also contribute to your total sodium intake, such as tap water and toothpaste.  Over the counter medications should not be used without first consulting your physician if you are particularly instructed to modify your diet because of heart failure.  Antacids, cough syrups, laxatives, and sedatives all contain sodium.

Living on a restricted sodium diet can be hard, especially if your palate has been accustomed to eating salty foods.  You will certainly develop strong salt cravings at the beginning, but this will subside in time as your taste buds adjust.  Take heart in the fact that as you continue on your low-salt diet, you will eventually become more sensitive to other tastes that have been dulled because of too much salt.  Use this opportunity as a chance to explore various textures and seasonings to add excitement to your food.  Non-sodium flavour enhancers include lemon, peppers, vinegar and herbs.  Try different recipes to help you comply with your diet.

Joana Chrystal Ventura-Moises, RN is also an expert on plumbing and vessel sinks.  She contributes fresh, engaging articles on the home improvement niche to various websites such as Plumbing Point and Hubpages.

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