How Salt Affects Body Weight

    Friday, October 26 2012

    It is two weeks after my water fast. My body weight hovers around 108. Up from low during the fast of 103 and the high pre-fast of 116. Changes in body weight during a fast is first and foremost the loss of water from tissues. It can be several pounds in a day, depending on the baseline you start from. Once the carbohydrate and salt is depleted, fat becomes the fuel for body and brain.

    Since the fast I did make some dietary changes after learning ways to make yummy food with no added oil, sugar or salt.  The salt has been the hardest challenge. I am now using more herbs and spices with great results. If I eat more salt than I need my body weight goes up by a pound, give or take.

    Gomashio

    Instead of adding salt to savory dishes I am using seaweeds, dulse is my favorite. A great way to add good minerals is to make gomashio, a traditional Japanese condiment and part of Macrobiotic cooking. to sprinkle on food. I make a simple version in my coffee grinder with dried dulse and sesame seeds in a 50/50 ratio. I have seen ratios of up to 1/12 and using any kind or color sesame seeds.  I don’t roast them but the traditional recipe calls for roasting the sesame seeds. If the dulse is bone dry when you make it, gomashio keeps in the fridge for days.  Try it.

    How much salt is too much? 

    Salt Ponds. Maras, Peru

    According to Nutritionist Jeff Novick, and many other respected healthy food experts, about 500 milligrams per day is the goal.  The standard US intake is 3,000 to 5,000 milligrams per day. The Upper Limit of the USRDA and Institute of Medicine is 2,300 mg/day, but the IOM recommends under 1,200 mg/day.  You will get your daily requirement if you use 1/2 teaspoon of added salt to flavor unsalted dishes. Foods have naturally occurring sodium of around 12%. Processed or restaurant foods have around 77%!!!

    Tell the chef you want no salt added to your dishes and bring along your own little stash to flavor the food to your liking. Give your taste buds a chance to get used to a lower salt intake slowly, over time.  It works.

    My physical training is progressing steadily and I am now comfortable in Zone 3. See more about Heart Zone Training or attend my Threshold Training seminar in Seattle on November 10th.

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