Overweight people who reduce their salt/sodium intake lose some water from the body and therefore lose weight and lower their blood pressure. Eating more fruit and vegetables results in greater and faster loss of weight and further lowering of blood pressure because the potassium in the fruit and vegetables helps to displace sodium from the body.
Dieting is harmful and unnecessary. Obesity is not caused by overeating; it is mostly caused by fluid retention in people who are sensitive to salt. Reducing calorie intake and going hungry will not reduce obesity. Giving up dieting and concentrating instead on avoiding salt and salty food will reduce obesity.
Many prescribed medications cause obesity. These include some antidepressants (see amitriptyline), anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers, for example atenolol.
80% of the salt we eat comes from processed foods.
And it is not just the obviously salty ones, such as crisps and bacon,
that cause the trouble.
Bread and most breakfast cereals contain surprisingly high amounts of
Food that would otherwise be considered "healthy", because it is low in
fat, will actually be unhealthy if it is high in salt.
A bowl of cornflakes and two slices of toast with low fat spread is an
unhealthily high salt breakfast, a "slimming" soup and cottage cheese
salad with low fat mayonnaise and a piece of wholemeal bread is an
unhealthily high salt lunch, and a calorie-counted ready meal is often an
unhealthily high salt evening meal.
The three meals together provide an unhealthy high salt total for the day, more
than the recommended maximum daily salt intake.
Low-fat foods promoted as 'slimming' foods will not help you lose weight if they are high in salt, which many of them are.
The recommended maximum daily intake of salt for adults is 6g. - This is too high for people who are very obese or are taking any of the drugs which cause sodium retention. People who are very overweight or are pregnant and/or who also have any of the other health problems associated with salt sensitivity or sodium retention would experience great benefit from lowering their salt intake much more than this.
The recommended maximum daily intake of salt for children is 3g. - This is too high for very small children and far too high if a child is taking a prescribed medication that causes sodium retention. It is best for children to eat as little salt and salty food as is reasonably possible. Salt is much more harmful for children than it is for adults.
If you are overweight, remember: there are no calories in salt, but if you cut down on salt you will easily lose weight. - And you will feel so much better!See also my Fat Retention page.
And please read my Disclaimer.
Forget about calories! - Cut down on salt! - You'll lose weight fast - as if by magic!
Everyone who is overweight has a higher than normal blood volume because of excess water retention, and would benefit from eating less salt/sodium. As well as losing weight, their blood pressure would go down and this would make them less likely to have a stroke or heart disease. They would also be less likely to develop diabetes and stomach cancer. Their bones would benefit from less salt because salt increases the rate at which they lose calcium from the bones. - So it is extra important for osteoporosis sufferers to eat less salt. Click the Associated Health Problems link (on left) to see further problems that are lessened by eating less salt.
If you're unsure about which foods contain a lot of salt/sodium then click on the 'Sodium in Foods' link in the list of links on the left of each page.
I have modified my original belief that the excess fluid is all in the blood vessels. I now believe that most is in the blood vessels, while some may be in the abdominal cavity (ascites), and some in the body tissues.