portion distortion: sodium plus updates

Happy Mindful Monday! It was a whopper of a weekend and I am happy to not have to work again until Friday. My facility has been basically Covid free for a whole year, and then it happened. Yep, a Covid outbreak. I tested negative both days as we now can’t even enter the building without a negative test, but I had to take care of Covid patients. I had on the full space suit and followed all sanitizing above and beyond, so I feel confident I will be OK. But, that little voice in my head makes me overthink. Since I already have CKD, albeit stable for 4 years, Covid makes me nervous. My husband and daughter are now on stay at home policy as much as possible as a safety precaution. Keep me in your thoughts. I was asked to sit on the board of a local organization. I have never done this before, and tonight is our first Zoom meeting. So, I am a little nervous but excited for this new and wonderful experience.

I have talked about Sodium a lot on this blog. But, I was reading an article that I found very interesting. When you consume too much salt it increases the Protein in your urine which can cause kidney function decline. I then read another article that stated that even if serum Sodium levels were normal, but at the high end of normal, there seemed to be a correlation between that and decrease in kidney function. This is obviously in relation to people who already have CKD. You can read those articles below, and there is a video. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, ie why sodium causes protein to increase in the urine, but it must have something to do with chemical reactions and how the kidneys process sodium and protein. Be aware that your body needs Sodium to survive. Do not go completely salt free and always speak to your doctor when making any dietary changes especially if you have a medical condition, take medications, exercise at high levels, or sweat a lot. Part of Mindful Eating is knowing what you are consuming and how it may harm/help your body, The body is a complicated machine.

Now, what if you don’t have CKD? I think everyone in the public hopefully should know by now that too much Sodium, or salt, increases the risk for several diseases such as High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and even Kidney Disease. I have noticed since I started the Lower Carb Diet to lose some weight, that I am experiencing some possible urinary retention. A lot of lower carb food options, may have higher sodium levels. I don’t think I was really considering that, or paying close enough attention to it. So, I put a Sodium tracker on my phone to help me keep track. I was consuming way more than the 2G Sodium diet I had been following. 2G is equivalent to 2,000 mg. The standard amount recommended for anyone is 2400 mg per day, and that is equal to only 1 tsp of table salt. Wow! Did you know that? Some people with the above mentioned Chronic Diseases may be limited to 1800 mg per day.

Salt is in everything that is packaged, mostly as a preservative and for flavor. Salt can be addicting, watch the video below to learn why. I bet you may have even noticed this phenomenon but didn’t realize it. Salt amount per serving is required to be on all foods that require a label. Note, that the Sodium amount listed on a label is for one portion. So if one portion is 240 mg per portion, and you consume 4 portions you are eating 960 mg of sodium for that one food item. Portion sizes matter! You need to become a nutrition label reading wizard. You also need to pay attention to what your body is telling you as I mentioned above with my urinary retention. I also will get headaches if I have consumed too much sodium, but not been able to stay well hydrated. This happens a lot when I work because I can not drink enough at work. That is one reason I only work 2 days a week. If I pay attention to what I eat at work this can be alleviated. Convenience foods are very high in sodium! Learning to cook at home, meal plan and prep are vital to staying healthy with any Chronic Disease. You can sign up for my monthly subscription, Meals with Melissa, to get a weekly meal plan with grocery list and recipes. These meal plans are my weekly family meal plan, but I share how I alter the meals for myself. I also include general nutrition with the recipes, including ones important to CKD. It is only 10 dollars a month. Coming this week I am introducing losing weight with Melissa. This is another subscription where I share how I am safely losing weight, and still protecting my kidney and maintaining good health. I also offer a free Kidney Class as an AKF Kidney Coach. This is their class and I just facilitate it. You can learn about that here. You can use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me, or leave me a comment.

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