A low sodium diet is recommended for most people who are trying to maintain optimum health. Too much sodium intake can be a contributing factor to high blood pressure in some people. If a low sodium diet is considered to be healthy, can it also contribute to weight loss?
What Is a Low Sodium Diet?
Sodium is often consumed in excess without most people being aware of it. Sodium in general adds flavor to most meals, often in the form of sodium chloride, or table salt. But it can also be seen in abundance in fast food and frozen meals. Sometimes there just isn't enough time to cook or find healthy food. Sometimes we turn to fast food to relieve our hunger. Unfortunately, almost all fast food will have a higher sodium count.
The average person only needs about 500mg of sodium per day to fuel vital bodily functions. Any more than that is not really necessary and too much more than that can be harmful. A low sodium diet is therefore abstaining from foods that are high in sodium, to get closer to the goal of consuming only the necessary amount of sodium. This diet can range anywhere from avoiding certain high sodium foods to minimizing the addition of table salt and certain spices like monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as people may know it as. Total elimination of sodium is not really possible, and definitely not advisable. Sodium is found in most foods, even foods considered healthy, albeit in smaller more manageable amounts. The best you can do is to limit its intake.
The Low Sodium Diet Verdict
A low sodium diet is more of a healthy lifestyle choice viable for everyone than a diet per se. It was not designed to expedite weight loss. But, it does have a side effect of inducing weight loss, just not how we conventionally think of it. If you maintain a low sodium diet, you body will retain less water as a result of having less sodium. Less water retention means less weight. Granted, some people who chronically consume too much sodium may experience permanent weight loss by keeping sodium levels down. It could be that they appear overweight because of constant excessive water retention.
The reality is that the more likely culprit of appearing overweight is accumulation of fat, and that is not going to go away by abstaining from sodium. Water retention is not usually the main reason for being or appearing overweight. The most a low sodium diet can do for weight loss is have just a minimal impact.
On the other hand, if following a low sodium diet means that you've now drastically reduced your fast food consumption, then weight loss is definitely in order. It's not because of the sodium though; it's from avoiding the fatty fast food and subsequently eating healthier meals.
A low sodium diet is recommended for everyone. It's about giving your body only what it needs, and not too much more. As with too much fat in your system, too much sodium is not something your body likes to deal with.