Sometimes we know we’re going to be getting a big dose of sodium, like on taco and margarita night. But aside from the salt we’re adding to our food, sodium is sneaking onto our plates in processed, canned, and pre-made frozen foods. And since the most recent dietary guidelines recommend we cap our salt intake at 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day - which is only about a teaspoon - most of us are getting way more than that.
Here are some signs you’re getting too much salt:
- You’re seriously thirsty - Sodium helps our bodies balance fluid, and when you’re thirsty, it’s your body telling you there’s not enough water to support the amount of sodium in your system and it’s time to drink up.
- You’re battling a bad case of bloat - When you have too much sodium, water leaves the cells and you’re left with swelling and drinking too much water to balance it out can lead to bloating, especially in the belly area.
- You have a headache - Eating too much salt can cause blood vessels in the brain to expand, leading to pounding headaches.
- Your food tastes meh - When you eat a lot of salt, it can tweak your taste buds, so eventually food doesn’t taste as delicious. The more salt you eat, the more salt you need to make it taste right.
And when you’re ready to slash your salt intake:
- Stay away from the “Salty Six” - According to the American Heart Association, it’s bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, sandwiches and burgers - especially fast food, pizza, canned soups, and cooked chicken - frozen nuggets - should be avoided.
- Cook more at home - So you can control the salt in your food.
- Find new flavors - Herbs, lemon juice, and vinegar can liven up food with new flavors.
- Rinse and repeat - When you eat canned foods, rinse off beans and legumes to get rid of excess salt, and buy the “low-sodium” versions.
Source: Women's Health