Everyone experiences occasional bloating, usually the result of eating something with more sodium than expected. Many of us have gone to restaurants, and even when we try to eat healthy, we eat too many salt-rich foods. Afraid to ask friends or family how they prepare their food, we may eat something and suffer the consequences later. However, bloating is an uncomfortable result of eating something that has too much salt.
Bloating is often manifested by a number of physical symptoms. For many people, their stomach protrudes more than usual, and their face looks round and puffy. If individuals overindulge in sodium, they experience the discomfort of swollen hands and feet. This effect could really be uncomfortable. However, there are a few things people can do to avoid bloating from eating too much sodium.
The primary step is to try avoiding sodium-rich foods in the first place. At home, clear your kitchen of things that contain a lot of sodium. These items include packaged, frozen and canned foods. Many of them contain more than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. The sodium is added to preserve the food over a long period of time. However, it wrecks havoc on the body. Sadly, many of these packaged, frozen and canned goods are even considered healthy alternatives.
If you must purchased packaged, frozen and canned goods, make sure you read the labels to make sure that they are low in sodium. Granted, many ready-made foods low in sodium don’t taste as good, particularly canned soups. To add a little flavor to the product, sprinkle a seasoning on it as it cooks, fresh or powdered. Adding a Mrs. Dash, too, can make it palatable as well.
Other products to avoid are processed meats, such as hot dogs, jerky, bologna, corn beef, and pickled meats. These meat products, like prepackaged foods, have to be prepared in a way to give them long shelf lives. Many health-conscience people may eat turkey hot dogs or bologna because they are considered a healthy alternative, but they undergo the same processing as other meat products.
Most people know that fast foods and even restaurant foods contain a lot of sodium. Most fast food is, by nature, prepackaged, frozen products that establishments have to have at the ready to quickly fill orders. Even many of the healthy menu items contain a lot of sodium. Fast food restaurants now list their food contents online, so find out how much sodium is in your favorite food. At restaurants, don’t be afraid to ask how the food is cooked or if it is sautéed in butter or fried.
Even if people avoid all of these food items, sodium hides in unexpected places, like condiments. Many of the condiments that contain salt are soy sauce, mustard, ketchup, butter, and relish. Even some salad dressings contain added salt. If you must put mustard on something, make sure to use only a small spoonful. As with everything, read the labels.
Cooking food yourself is the best way to avoid adding too much sodium to your food. Instead of using salt as a seasoning, try fresh herbs and spices. Some good alternatives to salt are garlic, lemon, olive oil, pepper, basil, cayenne, chili powder, cilantro, cumin, curry, garlic powder, lemon, lime, onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Once you get accustomed to real seasoning, food with too much salt is unpalatable.
Of course, we all have times when we ingest too much sodium. Instead letting the effects linger, drink plenty of water the next day to flush out the sodium. Eat a clean diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and grilled chicken or fish. If at all possible, try eating a vegetarian diet for about five days to really cleanse the system. If the bloating is really severe, taking a mild diuretic may help, just don’t use them beyond the time stated on the label.