How Much Sodium Do We Need & What Is It?

Posted by Lean Body Coaching

Understanding our sodium intake, and how to reduce it, can help reduce your blood pressure and arterial health. This video looks at how much sodium we need on a day to day basis, and offers new options to replace excess sodium without giving up any flavor. While Himalayan salt is touted as a great alternative to normal table salt and is a better bad choice, there are better alternatives that boost the taste of sodium in your recipes and meals that have 66% less sodium.

Hey, everybody, Keith Klein here, I was thinking the other day that we should pop in from time to time, or better, I should pop in from time to time, just give you a little bit of tidbits here and there, some things that we really didn’t cover within the program or we might have touched on in a different way. And today, what I want to talk to you about is a little bit about the hidden sodium within our foods. Now, sodium is an absolutely essential nutrient, we have to have in our body. If your sodium level in your body gets too low you… you basically die.If you’re an athlete it gets too low, you can suffer from something called hypernatremia. And so, sodium is an absolutely essential nutrient, but unfortunately in America, we weigh too much of it. And I wanted to share with you some great ways to reduce the sodium intake without giving up any of theflavor. I’ve noticed over the years that people can be… develop different types of palates. So, for example, you have somebody develops a sweet palate, so they’re always craving sweets, another person has a fat palate because they’ve always eaten fast. And how many times do we see the salt palate? That’s where you’re out in a restaurant and you see them put the plate in front of that person, without even tasting it, they grab the salt shaker and start sprinkling it all over their food, that’s clearly a salt palate.

So, you know, how do we change that? First of all, it doesn’t matter if someone’s telling you pink salt’s better for you, Himalayan salt’s better for you, this salt’s better for you, you just need to understand that virtually all of those are kind of a scam. Salt-salt, sodium, it’s the same thing, and to say that Himalayan salt is somehow better for you than our table salt just kind of cracks me up. They have about 540 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon and it packs a wallop of sodium into a little serving like that.

Let me show you a great alternative. I love this stuff. This is called lo salt, and I buy this at HEB in our supermarket here and it is a phenomenal substitute for regular table salt. First of all, while regular table salt has about 540 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon, this only has 170. I actually like the taste of this better. I think it has a sharper bite. So, if you simply get rid of whatever salt shaker you’ve been using in your house and replace it with this, you’re going to decrease your entire family sodium intake by about 60, 70% just by doing that alone. And that’s a big factor in today’s diets because we eat out so much, we consume amassive amount of sodium without evenrealizing it.

I want to make you aware of something that a lot of people don’t see, and when you go out by deboned, deskinedchicken breast, right, a lot of times people are looking at the percentage of fat which runs about 18%, but they’re not looking at other things. And I highly encourage you to go to your freezer refrigerator and pull out whatever brand of chicken breasts you buy, this is organics brand, it has no added water, and basically in a 4 ounce portion, the average chicken breast should have somewhere around 45 to 75 milligrams of sodium. That’s just natural occurring within it and that’s the sodium that was in the muscle, and so that’s natural, it isn’t added. I’m going to encourage you though totake a look at another package, maybe a different brand of the exact same thing, deboned, deskinned chicken breast, one that’s not cooked. Turn it over, and while it is 18% fat or there about, look at the sodium, and suddenly you’ll notice it says 360 milligrams of sodium. And this is deboned, deskinned, hasn’t even been cooked, and you have to think, “What gives?” Well, when you turn it over on the cover on those packages, what you’re going to see you’ll see a few different statements. One of them when you see about 300 and some-odd milligrams of sodium and uncooked chicken breast, you’ll see a statement at the bottom that says, “In a 15% sodium solution of…” What they do is they often infuse a sodium solution in with the chicken to keep it more moist. So, after it freezes, it’s going to lose some moisture, the sodium helps it retain its moisture. But I never buy chicken breast with 350 milligrams of sodium or whatever. All of mine will have between 45 and 75 milligrams.

Now, again, I challenge you to take a different brand of debone, deskinned chicken breast when you’re in a supermarket aisle, turn it over and you’re going to see something like 220 milligrams of sodium, you’d be like,“What gives?” When you turn it over, in small letters on the front, you’ll see,“In a 7% sodium solution of…” And so a lot of manufacturers do that, and you notice this one says, I don’t know if you can see it, it says, “No water added.” Did you ever know that they actually add water to chicken breasts so they sell it by weight so they make more money? So, again, I look for a natural organic deboned, deskinned chicken breast. And I don’t just look at the fat content, I often turn to the sodium content to make sure I’m not consuming excessive unnecessary sodium that… and, again, that’s in a 4 ounce portion. If you’re eating 8 ounces, suddenly it goes from 300 to 600 milligrams or so and it can really add up.

Why… why should we even watch our sodium intake? Well, first of all, if you have high blood pressure, it’s very beneficial. There was a study done multiple times called the dash study. It stands for something else, but it’s not by the makers of that dash sodium substitute. But they repeated the study twice I believeand they discovered that by we do seam sodium in the participants diet, it reduced their blood pressure even more than the blood pressure medications. And, I mean,if you go out to a typical Mexican restaurant or restaurant and eat your typical favorite meal, you’re probably consuming easily, you know, easily 6 or 7000 milligrams of sodium.

So, I just want to tell you that, if you eat too much sodium, it’s not really a big deal on 1 level because your body just excretes it, and if you don’t eat enough, your body simply holds on to it.And it does that… does this through a hormone called aldosterone. And aldosterone is what we call an antidiuretic hormone, it’s within your body produced by the kidneys and adrenals (this is my cat, Cheeto, here) and what they do is they help to regulate your sodium balance.So, whenever you too much, the aldosterone levels simply drops so you can release it, when you don’t eat enough, the aldosterone level rises so you can retain more water. And he’s sticking his butt in my face.

Anyway, I hope that helps. What is a normal sodium intake anyway? You know, we look for about I don’t know 2400 milligrams a day as a total, that’s a good number to shoot for. If you can get a little bit less than that, that’s fine. What we tell all of our athletes however is not to go below 1500 milligrams a day because that’s when they can start to suffer from some more dehydration issues and things like that. So, anyway, next time you go to the grocery store and you’re going to buy some deboned, deskinned chicken breast, I really want you to look at not just the percentage of fan of the food, but also what is the sodium content of the food. Say goodbye, Cheeto. Bye-bye, everybody.

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