Last week, I started to pay a little closer attention to my sodium intake. Because I have had symptoms of Meniere‘s disease, because I am a health wellness geek, because EVERYTHING makes me retain fluids, because I battled with some blood pressure issues while going through menopause, I have tried to keep my sodium intake at about 1000 mgs. a day. With some mild vertigo symptoms creeping back in over the past couple of months, last week I decided to track EVERY morsel of food that went into my mouth. My conclusion, after just one day, is that I eat too much sodium and the only way around it is a whole-food diet, because as soon as I start to add anything processed in, (because I stick to a plant-strong diet, I do eat processed rice cheese, Boca Burgers and Gardein products) I exceed my limit. The first morning I started calculating each mg. I found that there are over 300 in a large LaTortilla Factory wrap and 120 in one slice of cheese. If I add just a smear of Tofutti Cream cheese, I am up to about half my sodium allotment for the entire day. YIKES. That puts a Boca Burger on a wrap OUT for lunch. What if I want a couple of lightly salted nuts? Or an olive or two in my salad? Wow those little mgs. add upquickly!
I won’t continue to bore you with the details of my eating, but I did want to make a point. For those of you that regularly respond with “Oh, I hardly ever even use a salt shaker,” when I suggest watching your sodium, take a day or two to calculate YOUR sodium intake and you might, like I did, become aware of just how much you actually do consume. If you are struggling with your weight, vertigo, or the biggie, elevated blood pressure, you may want to make some big changes in your daily diet. I am now trying much, much harder to fill my plate with whole foods like veggies, grains, beans, salads, nuts and fruit. This message was reinforced when I went to see Forks Over Knives. Whether you eat a plant-strong diet, or one filled with non-plant foods, consider your sodium intake as it impacts ALL of our health in very big ways. In fact, when the government released it’s updated (every 5 years) dietary guidelines earlier this year, decreasing sodium was the biggest change suggested.
If you really care about your health, your weight, your all important numbers, blood pressure being paramount, then try tracking (yes, write them ALL down) your nutrients for a day or two…calories, sodium and sugar included. You may just find what’s been stopping YOU from reaching your health and fitness goals. With 2 days of changing up my “diet,” I did weigh in a few pounds lighter. Bet my blood pressure went down a litte, too.
Remember, YOU control your health, don’t let it control you. Diet and exercise combine to be THE magic bullet.