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Too Much Sodium?

By April 13, 2012 - 1:39pm
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So, I am currently trying to lose some weight. I monitor everything I consume through the my plate app on Livestrong.com and love it. It makes me feel accountable for everything I eat and for my actions of whether I binge or not. The only thing that I am worried about is the fact that it tells me I should only consume 2195mg of sodium a day in order to lose 2lbs a week. Well naturally, it has cause a fear in me of "if I eat more then that I am going to gain weight." I work out 3-5 times a week and drink between 8-14 glasses of water on any given day. My question is, how much is too much? And how much will cause me to gain weight? I dont want to retain water and I know that sodium causes that. Thanks!

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Hello AFMorgan 1-1,

Congratulations for working hard at losing weight and carefully monitoring your dietary intake.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "The Institute of Medicine recommends 1500 mg of sodium per day as the Adequate Intake level for most Americans and advises everyone to limit sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day, the Tolerable Upper Limit."

Normally, your kidneys balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your sodium levels are low, your kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. But, when sodium levels are high, as is the case if you consume more sodium in a day, your kidneys excrete the excess sodium in your urine.

If for some reason your kidneys cannot eliminate enough sodium, then, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Sodium attracts and hold water. This causes your blood volume to increase. Increased blood volume makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels. Consequently the pressure in your arteries increases causing hypertension or high blood pressure. This is a far more serious consequence than just gaining a few pounds.

Carefully watching your sodium intake is important but only one facet of a weight loss regime. Burning more calories than you consume is the basis of any weight loss program.

Wishing you continued success in losing weight,


April 13, 2012 - 4:26pm
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