Important: I’m not a medical doctor or an expert on nutrition. Therefore I recommend that you consult your own doctor and/or nutritionist before making any abrupt lifestyle changes.
Everything I’ve written below is based upon my own personal experience and the things I’ve learned by doing extensive research on the issue of healthy eating.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started…
If there was one simple lifestyle change you could make that takes hardly any real effort but could improve the length and quality of your life, would you do it?
Well, there actually is such a “magic bullet” for healthier living, and you can start taking advantage of it this very minute.
All you need to do is cut back on the amount of sodium you consume on a daily basis if you’re one of the millions of Americans who regularly consume a high-sodium diet.
Why is a high-sodium diet so unhealthy? Well, there are a couple of reasons:
1 – Sodium increases the volume of blood in your body which makes the heart have to work harder to pump the life-giving blood throughout your body.
This leads to an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke, both of which are often deadly.
2 – High levels of sodium cause the body to retain fluid.
That extra fluid can crowd the heart and make it more difficult for the kidneys to work as they should, resulting in a higher risk of damage to those most vital of organs.
I know what you’re thinking: “But I love the taste of salt!”
Well, so do I. Very much, in fact!
But here’s the thing: If we reduce the amount of salt we eat our taste buds will adapt. I can tell you from personal experience that this is absolutely true.
Let me share a bit of anecdotal “proof” with you…
I have always loved watermelon. And I REALLY loved watermelon that was coated with a decent layer of salt!
But a couple of years ago I decided that I needed to cut a lot of the salt out of my diet. Well, the easiest place to start was with my beloved watermelon.
Instead of pouring a layer of salt onto my melon slices I began just giving the shaker a quick shake. And just as expected, the melon didn’t taste as good as it always had in the past.
But guess what? After doing this for a few weeks the lightly-salted watermelon started tasting just as good as the heavily-salted melon I’d enjoyed just a few weeks earlier.
That prompted me to push that envelope even further and stop salting the melon at all. Predictably, it didn’t taste as good as the lightly-salted melon.
But guess what? After a couple more weeks my taste buds adapted once again and the unsalted melon started tasting amazing without even a hint of added salt!
It’s now been well over a year since I’ve added as much as a grain of salt to my watermelon, and it honestly tastes just as good to me as the heavily-salted melon that I used to crave.
That success encouraged me to try consuming less sodium in my other foods as well…
In addition to my beloved watermelon, I also love vegetables.
Raw, uncooked veggies are naturally low in sodium but I often purchase the canned variety for the convenience they offer.
Well, have you ever read the nutrition label on the back of a can of vegetables? They are absolutely loaded with sodium!
But there’s good news there as well: You can purchase canned green beans, peas, corn and other veggies that have no added salt. None.
And guess what? After eating those no-salt-added canned veggies for a few weeks my taste buds adjusted to them (see how that works?) and now I don’t even miss the added sodium that used to be present in the foods I consumed.
Yes, during the few weeks it takes for your taste buds to adapt to a no-salt-added diet your food will indeed taste a little bland. That’s to be expected.
But if you’re willing to stick with the routine your taste buds WILL surely adapt, and hopefully that will enable you to live a longer and healthier life!
While it’s true that the human body needs a certain amount of sodium in order to operate correctly, we can easily get that amount in the foods we eat without adding any extra salt from a shaker.
All you have to do is simply start eating more low-sodium and no-salt-added foods and you’ll be on your way to better health in no time!
To finish up, here’s a fantastic short video discussing things to look out for when attempting to switch to a low-sodium diet. Check it out!
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon that will pop up in the lower-right corner of the video after it begins playing.