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Have you ever wondered why you can’t lose weight? Well, it could be because of what I call the diet saboteurs. These are those seemingly innocent substances in foods and medicines that the average person never thinks of as having anything to do with weight gain.
Let’s take that cream substitute you use in your coffee. It’s 65 percent sugar! A chocolate bar is only 51 percent sugar! Hidden sugars are where you least expect them, which is why I always stress reading labels. Be on the lookout for words ending in “-ose,” which indicates the presence of sugar. By any other name, a sugar is still a sugar. In fact, even medicines can be fattening. Many, indeed, most OTC cough mixtures and indigestion mixtures contain sugar. Ask your chemist’s advice.
This is not only a diet saboteur, but an insidious health depleter. The normal intake of sodium chloride (table salt) is 6 to 18 g. daily; an intake over 14 g. is considered excessive. Well, far too many of us are excessive without even knowing it. (The average Briton consumes about fifteen pounds of salt each year!)
Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, increase your chances of heart disease, cause abnormal fluid retention and migraine headaches, deplete potassium, and interfere with proper utilization of protein foods.
Keeping away from salted nuts, snack foods, and that shaker on the table helps, but salt traps are as hidden from view as sugar ones.
Know Those Salt Traps
• Beer (there’s 25 mg. of sodium in every 12 ounces).
• Bicarbonate of soda, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and baking powder.
• Laxatives (check labels, most contain high amounts of sodium).
• Home water softeners (they add sodium to the water, so whether you’re drinking it or cooking with it, you’re getting more than you want).
• When reading labels, aside from the words “salt” and “sodium,” be on the lookout for the chemical symbol Na.
• Cured meats – ham, bacon, corned beef, frankfurters, sausage – shellfish or any canned or frozen meat, poultry, or fish to which sodium has been added.
• Diet drinks! The calories might be low, but the sodium content is high!
• Soda water. (An 8 oz. glass of soda water has 75 mg. of sodium!) My advice: Get your soda fizz from salt-free mineral water.
Medications That Cause Weight Gain Or Bloating
• Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
• Antidepressants
• Anti-inflammatories/antiarthritics
• Antispasmodics/anticholinergics (stomach and cramp pills)
• Oral contraceptives, oestrogens, and progestogens (birth control pills and sex hormones)
• Tranquillizers, sedatives, relaxants, barbiturates, and hypnotics
• Antidyskinetics (used for treatment of Parkinson’s disease)

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