If you’re looking to cut back on salt so you can get a more accurate scale reading during your weight loss journey (not to mention, it’s just better for your body to limit salt intake), then limit the following foods:
- Condiments (unless they’re listed as being low-sodium, or made from scratch so you can control the sodium, including):
- Tomato ketchup
- Salad dressings
- Bottled marinades
- Stir-fry sauces (many contain monosodium glutamate which is one of the highest forms of sodium)
- Soy sauce
- Hot sauce (check the label, some have more sodium than others)
- Canned, packaged and frozen soups:
Is Soup Good for Weight Loss?
Soup is healthy, and a bowl of it can be the perfect, balanced lunch or dinner when you’re trying to lose weight. However, homemade should be the goal if you’re hoping for more consistent scale readouts. It’s a good idea to limit sodium in order to prevent water-retention based weight gain. Avoid common brands of canned soup, most of which contain high amounts of sodium unless specifically indicated otherwise on the label. Even worse than canned soup, boxed soups which are generally made of a condensed powder, contain the highest amount of sodium plus other additives such as MSG or monosodium glutamate. These should be avoided entirely.
Packaged Foods Have High Sodium Content
Again, packaged, prepared foods often contain higher amounts of sodium in an effort to make them taste better. The majority of brands will contain more sodium than is healthy which will also cause you to gain water weight and throw off your weight loss numbers. If the label says organic, then it’s more likely that sodium levels will be in a more healthy range. Always flip the box and locate the ingredients list as well as read nutrition information and scan for sodium counts
Another grocery store temptation to avoid when you’re focused on a weight goal is any type of snack that comes in a box or bag. With few exceptions, most of these contain high amounts of sodium. Plus, chips are fried unless the label says baked, in which case they’re still likely to be high in salt. Again, if you’re really jonesing for a crunchy snack, your best bet is to select a healthy, whole grain baked option that is also low in sodium. This is generally not easy to find; and if you do manage to discover a snack food like this, it probably doesn’t taste very good.
RECIPE: Simple Tomato Sauce NO SUGAR, LOW SALT
Never made tomato sauce before? If you’re trying to reduce sodium and sugar in your diet, then a simple, homemade tomato sauce is the way to go. It only takes a handful of healthy ingredients, simmered on the stove for a minimum of about 30 minutes, to make a tasty and healthy, licopene-rich tomato sauce that can be used as the base for many great dishes.
No Sugar-Low Salt Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
- 3 large cans whole, peeled Italian tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh or dried thyme (or dried Italian herb mix)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
Heat the oil on medium in the bottom of a large sauce pan on the stove top. Add minced garlic and the thyme or blend of dried herbs. Use a wooden spoon to move the garlic and herbs around in the pan, being careful not to let it burn. Use your fingers to crush the tomatoes, then pour over the oil, garlic and herb mixture. Add salt and pepper, and stir.
Set the heat to medium-high. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and partially cover. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Taste-test for done-ness (the longer you cook it, the less acidic your tomato sauce will taste).
When finished cooking, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to Mason jars, cap and store in the fridge or freezer for future use.
RECIPE: Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing or Dip – LOW SALT, LOW SUGAR
Just because you’re avoiding foods that contain high amounts of sugar, such as bottled condiments and dressings, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these along with your favorite fresh veggies and whole-grain cracker snacks.
Homemade dips can be just as tasty as store-bought ones, but with far lower sodium and sugar content. Portion control is also ideal. You won’t need more than a Tablespoon or two of this tasty, nutritious ranch dressing or dip to dunk your favorite, crisp and crunchy vegetables or drizzle over a fresh salad.
Ingredients for Homemade Ranch Dressing with Low Salt and Low Sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano or thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
If you plan to use this as a dip or veggie dunker, then these are the only ingredients you’ll need. For a salad dressing, add a Tablespoon of olive oil and a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Combine all ingredients. Stir. To store, pour into a jar and cap with a lid. Store in the refrigerator until use.
The Final Word About Sodium and Weight Loss
Although sodium in your diet can lead you to gain water weight, it has no effect on your capacity to reduce fat.
While sodium won’t stop you from losing weight — at least not in the long run, because you’ll simply lose the excess water when your sodium intake reduces — too much sodium isn’t good for you. Furthermore, high-sodium foods, like as processed foods, are generally heavy in unhealthy fats and calories, preventing you from shedding body fat as quickly as you would like. Even if it’s not crucial to your weight reduction diet, avoiding significant amounts of sodium is a smart idea for your health. To maintain excellent health, try to keep your intake to 1,500 milligrams per day.