Eye On Health: Hidden ingredient that can ruin your diet
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- When most of us think of eating too much salt, this is what we think of. But surprisingly, table salt only accounts for about six percent of our daily intake.
Doctors say most of the salt we eat, we never see, and that's what often leaves us feeling hungrier and heavier.
Dr. Martha Gulati says "77 percent of the sodium in our diet, comes from processed food. And that's what people have to realize."
Dr. Martha Gulati is a cardiologist. She says when we eat too much salt, we retail water, which adds weight. But beyond that, excess salt actually makes you hungrier, and if you're not careful, you can eat a lot with very little effort."
Dr. Martha Gulati says " In fact, if you eat one meal out of a restaurant, in general, most restaurants, that would be about 5 thousand milligrams of sodium."
That's more than twice the recommended amount, for an entire day. But it's not the only place salt is hiding, even fresh cut meat can contain extra salt, often just to make it look better."
Dr. Martha Gulati says " At the grocery store, often they inject sodium into it to make it plumper. They make a mixture of water and salt to make it look better on the grocery shelf."
Even fruits and vegetables can have excessive salt, especially if they're canned. That's a lesson Rosalyn Brown learned the hard way. After surviving hypertension and a heart attack, she reads the label on everything she buys and cuts out all the salt she can.
Rosalyn Brown says "The other thing I had to cut out, fast food. I had to learn how to go to the store, buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and prepare them at home."
Which doctors will tell you is the best way to keep hidden salt from sabotaging your diet.
In addition to adding water weight, eating too much salt has also been linked to weaker bones and more severe asthma in men. Current guidelines say healthy people should only have 23-hundred milligrams of sodium a day which is about one teaspoon. Those at risk of heart problems only need 15-hundred milligrams a day.