If you are trying to lose weight but despite your best efforts are struggling to succeed then there may be one reason why.
Research at the Queen Mary University in London has discovered that your salt intake may be the reason.
What did the study discover?
According to the study just one-fifth of a teaspoon of salt a day could increase your risk of obesity by 25%, with the researchers claiming that this intake of sodium could have a negative effect on both your metabolism and could change how your body absorbs fat.
This discovery is bad news for us, with our modern diets full of added salt.
Research has shown that an average American male can consume as much as 4,243 mg of sodium everyday, which is twice as much as is recommended.
Women can consume as much as 3,000 mg daily.
How can we cut our salt intake?
Most of our salt intake is not from the shaker (added salt) but is already present in the foods we buy in the supermarket.
Salt is present in high percentages in various foods, in particular those foods with a long shelf life, for example those popular ready meals.
One of the easiest ways to cut your salt intake is to stop buying these high salt foods, it is always recommended that you check the food label before purchase to check exactly what it is your are going to be eating.
You would be shocked at the salt content of some of your favourite foods.
It maybe a little time consuming, but cooking your own meals fresh from home is a great way to reduce your salt intake.
Doing so will ensure you are able to tell exactly what you are putting into your own food.
The following tips are also a good way to cut your salt intake:
1. Swap salt for pepper; rather than using salt for flavour you could use pepper instead. Pepper contains piperine that has been shown to offer various health benefits including weight loss.
2. Use herbs for flavour; fresh parsley or chives are a great way to add flavour to your food. They are both full of nutrients, and will help cut your salt intake.
3. No more than 140 mg of sodium per serving; a discussed above you should check your food labels before purchasing. If there is more than 140 mg of salt present then that particular food is best avoided.
4. Use spices; mustard seeds, turmeric and horseradish are perfect alternatives to salt. They are healthier and contain fat fighting omega-3 fatty acids as well as other beneficial compounds.
5. Watch out for other names of salt; food labels may not necessarily say ‘salt’, they may list other names like sodium erythorbate, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrate and sodium stearoyl lactylate-all.