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Feed Your Face: Is Too Much Salt Ruining Your Looks?

By Dr Jessica Wu

Too much salt can make your face swell and cause your under-eye bags to become more puffy. It can also cause belly bloat. Some of my patients also break out from the iodine contained in most salt. While sodium and chloride, the two minerals found in table salt, are vital to your health and add flavor to food, too much of a good thing can sabotage your skin. Before you put down the salt shaker, you might want to pass on the bread basket instead.

Here’s a surprising fact: According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bread and rolls are the number one source of salt in the American diet, accounting for more than twice as much sodium as salty snacks like potato chips. Bread isn’t saltier than potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn, but people eat more of it, often at every meal. In fact, nearly half the sodium in the average diet comes from just 10 foods. Here are those top sources of sodium:

  1. White bread and rolls
  2. Lunch meats like ham and turkey
  3. Pizza (frozen or restaurant)
  4. Fresh and processed poultry
  5. Soups (especially canned soups)
  6. Sandwiches
  7. Cheese
  8. Pasta dishes
  9. Mixed meat dishes such as meat loaf with tomato sauce
  10. Snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn

Pay attention to labels, and go easy on processed and packaged foods, especially if you bloat easily or notice that your under-eye bags are puffier in the morning -- these could be signs that you’re getting too much sodium in your diet.

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