Combat Puffiness and Bloat

Find out the foolproof way to fight that dreaded inflated feeling

the hidden secret to combat puffiness and bloat

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Cut back on your salt intake. The fluid retention caused by sodium makes your entire face puffy, and it doesn’t stop there—fluid retained in the skin on your bottom and thighs can dimple them, making cellulite worse. Even more importantly for the salt-sensitive, high intake over time may also have a more serious health consequence: high blood pressure.

Go easy on the shaker (the sodium Daily Value for adults is 2,400 mg), and be vigilant when it comes to processed foods—they contribute 75 percent of the sodium in the typical diet. Depending on the food company, you may find surprising sodium counts in minestrone soup (690 mg per cup), salad dressing (340 mg and up per 2 tablespoons), pasta sauce (480 mg and up per 1⁄2 cup), frozen pancakes (580 mg per 3 pancakes), American cheese (277 mg per slice), baked beans (550 mg per 1⁄2 cup), and bagels (490 mg per bagel).

Look for breads, cereals, snacks, and condiments with no more than 400 mg of sodium per serving (250 mg of sodium per 2 tablespoons of salad dressing is ideal). Pizzas, frozen soups, and packaged meals, however, will range higher.

Assess the nutrition facts, not just what the front label says. Even some products marked as lower in sodium can still be very salty: reduced-sodium chicken noodle soup, for instance, can have up to 600 mg of sodium and still be considered “healthy” in terms of FDA labeling guidelines.

You can also counterbalance the impact of sodium by increasing your intake of potassium and magnesium, which aid in lowering blood pressure (sources include bananas, broccoli, cantaloupe, lima beans, oranges, spinach, and sweet potatoes).