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Is Salt Sabotaging Your Diet?

It brings out the flavour in food and we have been using it for thousands of years, but could it be stopping your weight loss?


Nowadays we tend to more cautious about adding salt to our food, but I can remember my father liberally sprinkling every meal with it, before he had even tasted it and yes he was overweight! Today manufacturers have significantly reduced the amount in many products, but the average person has over 8g a day, and that is more than 2g above the recommended daily maximum which is 6g.

What’s wrong with salt?

Like most things, there is nothing wrong with it as such, but it is the quantity that causes problems. We like it for adding flavour to food but salt can cause you to pass more urine than usual. Too much salt can cause extra fluid to build up in your blood vessels, raising your blood pressure, and that again is a common problem at menopause.

It is the hidden salt that can be the problem, we just don’t know it’s there, or how much we are taking in.

For example a heaped tablespoon of Heinz Tomato Ketchup has 0.14g more salt than a 25g bag of Walkexrs Ready Salted Crisps, not something I would have guessed, would you? Or that a tablespoon of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise has 0.6g more salt than a small portion of McDonald’s Fries.

The role of diuretics

Salt is a a diuretic and so if overused can cause you to increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body as urine. There are three types of prescription diuretics, often prescribed to help treat high blood pressure, but they’re used for other conditions as well.

Such drugs are commonly prescribed but do have side effects including headache, dizziness, thirst, increased blood sugar and muscle cramps.

Diuretics can help you lose weight, and so can be beneficial and a natural way to do this is to ensure you have adequate progesterone levels. This hormone reduces fluid retention and when oestrogen levels are not balanced out by adequate levels of progesterone, women tend to retain more fluid than usual.

This is known as oestrogen dominance and as progesterone is a natural diuretic it can help greatly reduce bloating and swelling and so lead to weight loss.