Less than 2,300 mg per day (That is about less than 1 teaspoon of salt per day!)
Salt seems to be the talk of the town in almost every industry and especially in the bodybuilding world. Do you keep salt in your diet throughout prep or do you remove salt out of diet throughout prep? Let me know!
I find that salt is usually a problem when a client dines out too many times a week. if you are spending more than 7-10 meals a week eating out, we might need to look into your salt intake.
Why does eating out increase your salt intake?
When eating out, food vendors cook in bulk and most often times they add copious amount of salt in their food to bring out the amazing flavors. Sometimes we might not even think the food is salty because we love it soo much. Not until the meal is over, you realize you are super thirsty, and you need something to quench your thirst? Yup, that’s the sodium in the food that is causing you to be thirstier than usual. But by that time, you will reach for a drink to quench your thirst, it is usually a sweet drink which only made you thirstier seconds after. It’s a vicious cycle.
I like to tell my clients to keep things simple when eating out. Pick your battles. Ask for lesser sugar in your drinks. I don’t usually ask the food vendor for lesser salt because chances are that bowl of noodles is already pre-prepared in salt and asking for lesser salt is just being annoying. But if you are living in Thailand, they tend to add additional sugar to their food and drinks so you can ask not to add more sugar into your Phad Thai or drinks.
Why is a high sodium diet bad?
It increases blood pressure. When our blood pressure gets to high it increases our risk of cardiovascular diseases, congestive heart failure and kidney failure. These does not happen overnight, but it does happen overtime, so we are trying to decrease our exposure and risk here.
How to decrease my sodium intake on the daily?
It takes time and it requires a change of mindset and habit, but we can get there. All it takes is a little baby step.
- Read nutritional label and pay attention to sodium content.
- Consume more fresh foods and less packaged food
- Eat more homecooked foods/ Add less salt
- When eating out, ask for less sugar and if possible, no additional condiments on the side such as soy sauce, fish sauce etc
- Reduce caloric intake (by eating more homecooked food, go back to 3rd point)
I’ll be honest I’m the last person that will ask you to stay away from salt. I salt my food all the time when I am cooking at home. I don’t ask the food vendors for less salt and I don’t order sweet drinks. Life is all about balance. Salt is not bad for you. Salt helps you recover from training and give your muscles the pump it needs. But I definitely stay within the range of no more than 1 teaspoon of salt per day when cooking my food. So my best suggestion in reducing salt is to dine out less and eat more at home. I don’t mean food delivered to your home though.