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Do you watch your sodium?

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:45 AM   #1
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Default Do you watch your sodium?

I am curious how many of you actively track your sodium? In fitday it says I should have 1500 mg of sodium per day. Even completely on plan, I usually double that, sometimes more. I know it has health risks associated with high blood pressure, but for the whole weight loss thing, do you think controlling it really helps?
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:51 AM   #2
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Personally? Nope. Don't watch it. Never did, and I lose weight just fine. Lost 108 lbs just fine the first time without looking at sodium.

However, I don't have high blood pressure or anything. If my doctor ever told me to, I certainly would!

Right now I have so much to do just revolving around eating healthier in general, getting in more movement, etc etc... I'll take my chances with sodium and be happy just to be eating fewer calories.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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I used to. I tried very hard to keep it near the 1500 fitday number for a while. I didn't enjoy that so I stopped keeping track and I don't really think it makes a difference really. If I'm holding onto some water weight then I'm just always holding onto it so my loses are still accurate I'd say.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:48 AM   #4
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Sandi, I recently read (sorry, I don't recall where!) that only 10% of the population actually has a sodium sensitivity such that it affects blood pressure. Like Lovely, I don't watch it, either. And like Lovely, I don't have high blood pressure. But I would definitely do whatever my doctor told me -- including watching sodium if she suggested it.

With respect to weight loss, I've always thought it was faintly ridiculous to worry about it in the absence of a medical condition. It's hard enough to modify one's eating habits without giving up the kick that salt gives to food! And if it's just water weight, it's not relevant to my fat loss efforts.

I should add that I eat very few processed foods and so my own sodium intake comes chiefly from salt I add myself to my foods. It's generally not that high -- around 1,700-1,800 mg/day.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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I don't track my sodium but I do watch it carefully. If I eat too much sodium, I will have a gain the next day. At home I don't eat processed foods, I use a low sodium salt, and I buy low sodium foods as much as possible. I have gotten really used to foods tasting great with very little sodium and use a wide range of spices in my cooking. The problem comes when I eat out because almost anything prepared at a restaurant taste way to salty. Which is good, because it now requires me to be really careful about what I order at restaurant.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:59 AM   #6
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I notice it sometimes, but don't put any effort into tracking or reducing it. I definitely notice the next day spikes on the scale if I have too much of it.

My Dr told me that unless I have a bp problem (which I don't, 102/60 yesterday at the Dr) then I don't need to think about it.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:40 AM   #7
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I've noticed different sites have different daily sodium recommendations. CalorieCount.about.com said 1500mg while MyFitnessPal says 2500mg. I agree that 1500 is all but impossible to stay under, 2500 is much more reasonable. I do monitor it and will make lower sodium choices if available, but I do focus most on calories as it's more important to weight loss. However, losing weight isn't my true goal...being healthier is. And as such I also track protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, nutrients and sodium so I can work toward having a more balanced diet and healthier body.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raebeaR View Post
Sandi, I recently read (sorry, I don't recall where!) that only 10% of the population actually has a sodium sensitivity such that it affects blood pressure. Like Lovely, I don't watch it, either. And like Lovely, I don't have high blood pressure. But I would definitely do whatever my doctor told me -- including watching sodium if she suggested it.

With respect to weight loss, I've always thought it was faintly ridiculous to worry about it in the absence of a medical condition. It's hard enough to modify one's eating habits without giving up the kick that salt gives to food! And if it's just water weight, it's not relevant to my fat loss efforts.

I should add that I eat very few processed foods and so my own sodium intake comes chiefly from salt I add myself to my foods. It's generally not that high -- around 1,700-1,800 mg/day.
This exactly! I cook from scratch almost everything we eat and have no medical condition that sodium affects, so I don't give even a passing thought to tracking it. It just doesn't matter to me.
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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I'm a non-watcher as well. I didn't have high blood pressure so I never really thought about it. I never put salt ON things, and always used it sparingly while cooking. I use sea salt cuz it's groovier looking LOL My biggest intake of sodium was McDonald's FRIES hahaha but I haven't had them in more than a year!
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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Trazey - Did you know that McDonald's milkshakes actually have more sodium than their fries? o_O Not that you're having those either, but I thought it was interesting.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #11
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Although I can't say I keep track of my sodium we eat at home for almost every meal and when shopping I make a conscious effort to purchase low sodium items making the only sodium being the sea salt I add when cooking. I think that the importance of tracking sodium is geared more towards people who eat whatever they want. If you are already dieting and eating a more healthy diet I think that it seems to balance out on its own.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:52 PM   #12
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I'm trying to watch mine, to see if it's responsible for my phantom gains of late. The harder and closer I watch, the more I get in there. If I get my sodium even close to low, my carbs go through the roof.

I can't win.

That being said...I don't have any problems with blood pressure or cholesterol or anything. It DOES affect my weight a lot. I weighed 141-142 Monday through Wednesday, then had a sodium spike Wednesday and Thursday. Today I shot up to 144.4. My guess is tomorrow will also be high before it goes back down some, since my sodium today is lower...
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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The plan I am on (Dukan Diet) recommends low salt. I cook mostly from scratch and don't use too much added salt, and I do low sodium versions of soy sauce, etc. but I don't go nuts measuring and tracking it all.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:17 PM   #14
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Thanks guys. That's pretty much what I was thinking, but this comes from the same person who wasn't paying nay attention to Fiber!
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:48 PM   #15
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Nope!

I did have HBP but not any more. Even then I did not watch my salt. My HBP was more about the extra weight I carried rather than how much sodium I consumed.

I have never cooked much with it (I don't salt boiling water, soups, etc) but I will salt my veggies and hard boiled eggs with kosher salt cuz I like the big flakes (and it is left over from pickling).

My salt habit has not changed - just my weight...so bringing down the weight brought down the HBP.
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