Trigger #7: Water Retainers

artificial sweeteners are - water retainers

A huge hidden source of being overweight is water weight.

Monosodium glutamate is the big culprit in causing water retention and it can be hidden under a variety of names: modified food starch, autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, carrageenan, glutamic acid and yeast extract. MSG is also present in most protein isolates (soy isolates, whey isolates, etc.). Many Chinese restaurants will tell you they don’t add MSG, yet it’s in their sauces under other names. I can taste if food has MSG—it tastes just a bit too good and I can keep eating more than usual; but the next day my finger joints ache and feel puffy.

Many boxed foods, canned foods, gravies, sauces, mixes, TV dinners, lunch foods, hot dogs and condiments have either MSG or lots of chemicals or preservatives that cause water retention. Eating at restaurants gives you a good dose of MSG. It’s a difficult substance to avoid. When dining out, keep away from breaded foods and foods with creamy sauces. Eat whole foods with just a few spices. If it is unavoidable, counter the sodium with lots of leafy greens or vegetables, which are high in potassium.

When shopping, make sure you read the labels, especially for the sodium amounts, as you will find that most packaged and processed foods contain mega sodium. They don’t list potassium unfortunately, which is the opposing mineral. I have found a product called Kettle Chips to have higher potassium than sodium. However, potato is a starch and will not help you lose weight. An additional note on MSG: In animal studies, MSG has been shown to triple the output of insulin. Insulin is not only the major fat-making hormone, it is the main preventer of fat burning. In the presence of insulin, your body can NOT burn fat.

Artificial sweeteners, which are in thousands of foods, cause water retention, especially the diet sodas that so many people drink. These include aspartame, saccharin and acesulfame K. Sugar alcohols, such as Splenda, xylitol or mannitol, are another type of artificial sweetener. I initially did recommend sugar alcohols as acceptable sweeteners but with more of my own research found that they are big water retainers, so I don’t recommend them anymore.

Excess sodium causes increased water retention and decreases potassium. The adrenal hormones are affected indirectly when this mineral imbalance is created.

A major hidden source of potassium-depleting, sodium-retaining foods is refined sugars and carbohydrates. In order to digest sugar, potassium is required. And because potassium is not normally present in white sugar or white flour, you end up using your potassium reserves. Since the cell is where most of the potassium is located, a depletion of this mineral will cause dehydration in the cell with fluid retention outside the cell. This is why you feel puffy and have ankle swelling after eating something sweet, and why consuming sweets makes you thirsty. It is also why you can gain and lose five pounds in a day or gain five pounds overnight. It isn’t fat; it’s water, which comes with the increased sodium. Alcohol causes water retention as well.

It would be a good idea to take a look at how many water retainers you are exposed to on a weekly basis and compare this to how many highpotassium foods you eat.

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