Weight-Loss Secret: Get Rid of Hidden Sodium
Cutting way back on processed foods -- plus spending three days a week with the trainer -- finally brought Kym Sosolik's blood pressure down to 117/63, normal at last. She's also been able to go from taking three blood-pressure drugs to just one and is working to whittle her weight further.
Her low-salt diet should help, as other women are also finding. Tucson mother of two Nanette Morrow lost 40 pounds after weaning herself off sodium. She had a heart attack in 2007 at the shockingly young age of 36. Afterwards her doctor insisted she reduce her sodium. She cut back on processed and restaurant foods and she and her family turned to healthier alternatives, which also happened to have fewer calories and less fat.
And while Morrow's taste buds initially craved salt, she says her palate retrained itself after a few weeks. This is common, explains Dr. Van Horn. People who go on lower-salt diets for research studies often find they can't go back to their old foods. "Craving salt is a learned behavior," she says.
That has been Morrow's experience. Foods that seemed fine now taste salty. When she does use salt, she can get by with a light sprinkle. "I don't miss it," she says. Chances are, you won't either. But your heart will notice.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, August 2009.