Does Sodium Make You Fat?

Weight gain issue is one of the most troubling questions amongst modern, urban people. Speeding up of our general living routine has a lot to do with an increase of instant meals solutions, fast, junk food and so on. We often need to grab some food while running to work, school or such.

Modern human’s frequently skip regular meals and satisfy their hunger with fast and easy snacks or meals, such as crackers, pizzas, instant noodles and soups, cookies, chocolate bars, all sorts of sweets and foods that would give them an instant energy boost, in order to continue their daily tasks and stay focused.  It is a shameful and unfortunate habit of many urban individuals, which leads to various health problems, from mild issues to serious diseases.

Weight gain, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are commonly found conditions in large number of world’s urban population. Instant and junk food is often loaded with chemicals and ingredients that preserve its form, appearance and composition. Most of greasy snacks and meals are loaded in sodium, as well as commercial sweets. Think about the food you eat and pay an attention to its composition. Our body needs certain amounts of sodium, but an excess of sodium could be responsible for gaining weight.

Moreover, it could lead to various other health complications. However, let us find out how it works and why is that so.

What is sodium?

Sodium is a mineral our organism needs for normal functioning. An appropriate amount of this mineral helps your body maintain good cardiovascular and muscular functions. It also plays an important role in nutrients absorption and blood pressure regulation. So, yes, our body requires sodium.

However, people are usually mistaken thinking the sodium in form of sodium chloride, which we all frequently use in our kitchens, is the sodium we need. Fruits and vegetables contain sodium that is beneficial for our body. However, most of the mineral we ingest comes from salty processed products, such as various types of snacks and fast food meals. Sodium is hidden in all sorts of commercial food and people generally overlook its content.

Sodium and weight gain issue

You’ve certainly heard a lot of sodium could be responsible for your extra pounds. However, is not the sodium itself that makes you gain weight. Sodium contains no carbohydrates and no fats, so it cannot contribute to your overall calorie intake. To put it simply, you cannot became fat from sodium itself. It doesn’t mean it is ok to have it in large quantities, of course. We will explain bad effects of too much sodium later on. So, why do people often think excessive sodium intake makes them fat?

The truth is, sodium could make you appear fat. It causes a temporary weight gain, die to fluid retention. Regular consumption of too much sodium could cause swelling and pain in joints.

It could also get visible on your face and hands. You could build up a couple of extra pounds due to fluids accumulated in your body. However, this ‘weight gain’ is temporary. There are no actual fat deposits coming from sodium. Once you reduce your sodium intake to a normal level, you’ll get your regular weight back.

On the other hand, fast food, processed snacks and such are often very salty. They are high in sodium and fats, so many people blame the both for their weight gain. Regular consumptions of such food would most certainly make you gain weight.

Moreover, it is an unhealthy habit that threats your organism in general. Let just make it clear: you don’t get fat from sodium; it makes your body retain fluids, so you appear ‘fat’ from water. However, salty snacks and food would very likely make you build up some extra ponds, but those are coming from fats, sugars etc.

Too much sodium health concerns

Statistics on average sodium consumption are alarming. According to researches, most people regularly consume too much of sodium, mostly coming from processed food, not from healthy fruits and veggies. Health and food welfare organization agree we have to cut off the sodium level in our diet to less than 1500 mg on a daily basis. The numbers are different, depending on particular study and its findings, but an average level of daily sodium intake should never exceed 2300 mg. However, data on average daily sodium intake is scary. Gathered information say we regularly consume about 3400 mg of sodium per day, which far beyond the desirable line.

Besides it could make you get extra pounds and appear swollen, too much sodium badly affects some very important organs in your system. It is a disaster for your heart and kidneys. Since excessive amount of sodium makes your body retains extra fluids, your blood vessels experience pressure. Retained water puts pressure on blood vessels in your kidneys area and makes them use more effort to function normally.

Moreover, kidneys need sodium and potassium levels to be well balanced, in order to regulate the process of osmosis. Osmosis is important for regulating water levels in your bloodstream; it removes it from your blood. Therefore, too much sodium causes kidney failure. The first sign of it is high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is all but nice. It badly affects arteries, which leads to poorer blood flow to your heart. The heart doesn’t receive all of the needed nutrients and needs to work harder. The process is gradual, but it could severely damage arteries and lead to heart attack. In order to prevent it, make required dietary changes and cut off the sodium amounts, if that is what causes your blood pressure to increase.

Less sodium, healthier body

Recommended amounts of sodium, about 1500 mg, equal to 3.75 gr or less than a teaspoon. Pay attention on how much sodium do you actually use each day. If it exceeds the appropriate amount, cut it off. It is essential to our health to keep extra sodium doses, meaning those coming from processed food and such, in moderation. Reading labels may be boring, but you’ll know what you eat and in what amounts. To keep your body healthy and vital, you need to take certain precautions. Human organism needs various compounds, ingredients and nutrients; moderation is a golden rule and the only secret for longevity and wellbeing.

The conclusion on sodium is clear. It doesn’t make you fat, but it could make you look like you’ve put some extra kilos. Excessive intake of sodium badly affects your organism, in general. It is dangerous for your heart and kidneys, in the first place. In order to maintain good health and looks, eat wisely and consume all nutrients your body needs in appropriate amounts.