Effect of sodium on our weight

Sometimes we notice our weight increases significantly over a short duration. Check if these apply and change your diet appropriately to bring it back to normal levels.

Pain killers

When one is on pain medication (pain killers), some studies have shown that there may be a lot of side effects like nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, fatigue, confusion etc. Based on your normal diet and how frequently you are used to taking medicines / supplements, body gets used to processing the normal levels of nutrients and the excess in different ways. One of the side effects is increase in sodium content in the body. Check the medications you take, if it has sodium – excess of it (medicines + the food ingested) triggers a set of side effects in itself.


Those who exercise and have a lot of physical activity are used to taking Gatorade to replenish their electrolytes / body salts.

While glucose and sodium help, potassium is not there. This can create an imbalance if you are on meds (that have sodium) or on your diet.

Canned foods

Most of the canned foods have sodium in it. Next time you shop, check the sodium levels on the canned food. Be it tomato puree, salsa,

  • One can of soup has 600-900 mg of sodium.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala frozen – 500 – 800 mg of sodium
  • Amla pickle – Over 3,300 mg of sodium
  • Chips 1.5 oz packets – 150-250 mg of sodium
  • Frozen samosa 1 piece – 630 mg of sodium

You check out your favorite foods and their sodium content!


Salt is Sodium Chloride (NA + Cl). The number of spoons of salt we eat (Iodized or Non-Iodized) directly impacts the sodium levels in our body.

Did you Know?

How much sodium does one need a day?

According to FDA, one needs less than 2,300 mg per day, which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt!

Ralphs - Morton Iodized Salt, 26 oz
1/4 tsp is 550 mg

What foods are low in sodium?

Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, unsalted nuts, dairy products are low in sodium. Including it in your diet, especially when you are on medication or when you are targeting weight loss helps!

How can we quickly reduce sodium levels in our body?

  1. Drink water. It helps flush excess salt and toxins from our body
  2. Eat foods high in potassium. It helps balance the sodium levels in the body.
    • Bananas, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, strawberries, melons, lemon and citrus fresh fruits contain potassium and can balance the sodium levels in the body
  3. Activate the organs that remove excess salt from our body
    • Kidneys – Remove urea, salts, excess water from the blood
    • Skin – Sweat glands remove water, salts and others wastes
      • Exercising is a good way to trigger the sweat glands to remove excess salt

Low sodium levels

Unless one is on a no-salt diet, exercising regularly, eating only fresh fruits and veggies, or on a diet / meds that remove sodium from the body, the foods we eat typically have some amount of sodium content in them that can help towards the daily intake.

If one is low on sodium, the condition is called Hyponatremia – it can be dangerous to people who have high blood pressure, on diuretics and heart issues. Talk to your physician and/or dietician to plan an appropriate diet for you!

losing the weight gained (water weight)

While it is easy to gain while on pain meds, it is hard to get rid of them. Best way is to exercise and let your sweat glands do its work!

  1. Manage salt intake
  2. Reduce canned food
  3. Eat foods rich in potassium/magnesium
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Maintain your sleep timings
  6. Increase water intake
Joao Costa Leal (jacleal) - Profile | Pinterest
Pic courtesy – Pinterest

Diet during recovery

Most physicians recommend a bland diet during recovery, suggest fresh fruits (apples and bananas) that can help balance sodium and potassium levels in our body. Planning one’s diet while one is taking medication and recovering is critical.

Checking and controlling what we eat, can help resolve half our ailments!

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