At one time, you couldn’t give a person a higher compliment than saying, “He’s the salt of the earth.” Lately, salt has lost its savor – and doesn’t rank so well.
In fact, a lot of experts believe that too much salt is one cause of obesity.
Some of the newest and best diets call for salt restriction. They do not call for doing without salt entirely. Weakness may result, if no salt is eaten.
Uremia has resulted because of salt depletion. Practically all living matter contains salt. We need salt to be healthy.
The body fluid of man contains 0.85% salt. This balance is maintained in the blood of all healthy individuals. Any change causes real trouble.
Too much salt, the experts say, may cause high blood pressure – and while it does not make fat in itself, it causes water retention – which, the experts tell us, is just as bad.
It seems that a change in sodium chloride balance means a change in water balance. The tissues become water-logged.
Fluid gathers, and organs are swollen, their natural functions interfered with. The healthy individual can excrete about 10 grams of sodium chloride every twenty-four hours.
But if the physiological mechanisms are unbalanced, salt often tends to accumulate, to hold water in the tissue spaces.
Dr. Emil G. Conason approves of the low-salt diet not only for high blood pressure but for weight reduction.
He says, “A portion of the weight of the obese person consists of water, bound to sodium in his tissues. This water may be liberated and excreted during the maintenance of the low-sodium diet. In addition, the low-sodium diet tends to decrease the hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, thereby decreasing hunger. Low-sodium diets for reducing will be found of inestimable help in the program of weight reduction.”
The usual low-sodium diet calls for liquid restriction, also. The regulation reduction diet is followed, omitting practically all salt.
Some salt will be in food, of course, especially if you eat in restaurants – but no extra salt must be added.
Besides this, no liquids must be taken at meals – no liquids at all!
Between meals, liquids may be taken, the amount depending on your own condition and your own doctor.
If you are on a low-salt diet and can’t enjoy your food without the flavor that salt gives it, I can recommend a number of substitutes.
The one I like best is “Diasal,” manufactured by E. Fourgera, and consisting of potassium chloride and glutamic acid.
“Fortissimo Brand Seasoning,” made by Isrin-Oliver, “Gustamate,” made by the Arlington Chemical Company, and “Co-Salt,” made by Cassimir Funk Laboratories, are all good, too.
Of course you’ve heard of Dr. Kempner’s famous rice diet. Originally introduced for high blood pressure, it has found great success among many people who are overweight.
My objection to it is that it is monotonous. My idea of a good diet is one that can be kept up indefinitely as a way of living. The Kempner diet is not that by any means.
But because it is salt-free and has been discussed a great deal, I think it has a place here. The diet consists only of rice, fruit, fruit juice and sugar or honey.
No water! No salt!
The rice is boiled. It may be white, polished, brown or wild.
The fruit may be raw, stewed, canned, dried, frozen or preserved.
Nuts, dates and avocados are forbidden. The sugar may be white, brown or honey – but no commercial syrups may be used.
Vegetable juices are not included. Liquids are limited to a pint and a half or two pints of fruit juices, canned or fresh. A vitamin and iron supplement is recommended.
Dr. Kempner has found that the diet results in a significant reduction in the size of greatly enlarged hearts and that water-logging, due to kidney disease, is eliminated.
A short stay on the rice diet may be of benefit to the overweight person who has water retention and high blood pressure.
It should be taken only on the advice and under the supervision of a competent physician.
While it was never planned just for the obese, it may be just what some overweight people need. I don’t recommend it as a “way of life,” or a permanent weight-reducer.
This isn’t at all what I have in mind for you. It’s a sort of stop by the wayside, a trip up a side street. Because the low-sodium and water-restricted diet is being discussed so much today, I felt that we should discuss it, too.
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