Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh I Hate You!

So I have become a very mindful eater I believe. That's not to say I always make the best choice, but when I am not making it, I know that also. I spend about an hour each day thinking about my plan for the day, logging it, and executing the plan (aka- making the food). All in all, that's not bad. I mean most of us probably spend near that doing mindless eating, so why not make educated choices, right?

Here is my constant failure... salt. I HATE salt. Actually, I love the taste of salt, as most of us do. Salt could probably make crap taste good. Well, actually that's what fast food is I guess. (Don't get me wrong, not a fast food hater. Just a salt hater today!), I digress. Salt is bad for your heart. Salt sensitive people are more prone to have high blood pressure. It causes you to gain water weight. In general, I can't find a lot of positive reasons to have much sodium at all other than to balance your bodily fluid levels.

Back to salt hate... So like I said I spend some time each day logging the foods I eat into this website. It is an AMAZING and FREE website, and if you truly want to be in control of your health, try it. Even if you are not overweight, it will teach you something. Here's my lesson:

After all of my foods are logged for the day, there is a little analysis button that you can click on. It gives you a total of all of your intakes for the day. It also gives you a recommended range to be within. I can be sure I am staying in an appropriate range for fat, carbs, protein, potassium, calcium, etc. If I get a GREEN box, I did good. A RED box, well, you get it. So most days I end up with a combo, but I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS get a red box for sodium intake.

Calorie count is recommending that I intake no more than 2400mg of sodium per day. I can't do it. I can't say I sit there and add up items before I eat them to keep my sodium count down, but I am eating REALLY HEALTHY foods, and I can't win.

It seems like in each meal there is a sodium bomb that I eat... canadian bacon, 60 calorie sodium bomb, cottage cheese, 90 calorie sodium bomb, going to have a healthy Subway Sodium Sandwich bomb? See what I mean? I eat a lot of foods that "grandma would eat" and I shop on the outside of the supermarket, but I am so frustrated. I wish I could make everything from scratch to control it, but I don't have the time to slow cook my oatmeal, or prepare homemade spaghetti sauce. I know I eat things off the "list" of bad sodium foods.

Do any of you struggle with sodium intake?
How do you lower your sodium levels?
What do you think an appropriate amount of sodium is?

I would really love some advice here.


  1. As someone who does have to deal with high blood pressure thanks to my PCOS. I've been eating a low sodium diet for a couple of years. Mainly I follow Dr. Oz. Though I would say on many recipes I always omit the salt. Also switched to frozen foods over canned. Frozen veggies and fruits tend to have less sodium than canned foods. If I have to resort to canned then I look for reduced sodium on the label. Especially with beans, of course once they are rinsed most of the sodium gets rinsed off. I'd say start with small steps, like seeing where you can cut out the sodium in recipes and go from there, i.e. look for reduced sodium or unsalted options of the foods you already buy. There are lots of options out there. I also replaced my yogurt(something I LOVE) with Greek yogurt. It has less sodium and calories with more protein. Amazing how just a few small changes can make a big difference. Honestly though I am no expert :)

  2. I was waiting a couple of days to see if anybody with actual knowledge would post, since I have none. I have a different perspective for you though. I am guessing you are logging your food on just an everyday dieters site where the "reds" and "greens" are based on average people. Check out CoolRunning on facebook, which links articles from The other day there was a FAQ about food, sodium, etc. for athletes. You may have a difficult time referring to yourself as an "athlete", but if you are running half marathons, I would say it is a safe bet. Even if not, we would certainly fall into "exhaustive exercisers", and some of the dieting go tos like low carb and low sodium just change as your body composition changes. In short, your body may need the sodium so let it go if everything else is working.