Get Rid of False Fat

April 23, 2010
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

11973219-566x849Cut the salt to slim down and live a longer, healthier life.

Americans ingest more than twice as much salt as they need. At 1½ teaspoons a day, that’s enough sodium to raise blood pressure and up the risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and stroke for most people.

No wonder that one-third of all American adults have high blood pressure. Too much salt is one good reason, along with overweight and obesity.

Trouble is, you can get too much sodium—without even shaking the salt shaker. Currently food manufacturers and fast-food chains can use as much salt as they like, and it’s not always easy to tell how much sodium is in what you eat.

“There is now overwhelming evidence that we must treat sodium reduction as a critical public health priority,” says Walter Willett, MD, MPH, who heads the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Earlier this week, the Institute of Medicine, an independent health arm of the National Academy of Science, called for lower salt levels, reducing sodium intake from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg daily (especially if you’re older or of African American descent).

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

Well, it’s about time that health experts paid attention to salty processed foods!

In addition to hypertension, heart disease, and kidney problems, too much dietary sodium increases the risk for osteoporosis by causing calcium loss. The body’s hormone system responds to low blood calcium by drawing this mineral out of the bones. No wonder an estimated 52 million American adults have low bone mass today.

Another problem is salt-induced fluid retention and weight. Many individuals carry an extra 10 to 15 pounds of “false fat” – a term coined by my esteemed colleague Elson Haas, M.D.

“False fat” is the result of water trapped in our tissues which contributes to bloat, puffiness and cellulite. This is why Fat Flush for Life replaces table salt with herbs, lemon juice, and iodine-rich Seaweed Gomasio.

Here are additional ways to reduce your salt intake:

• Nature designed foods that are perfect for humans. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, which tend to be high in potassium, an important mineral that helps balance sodium in the body, as well as unprocessed animal foods.

• Learn to enjoy the taste of foods as they are—nibble on garden fresh greens and herbs. Buy local—and if possible organic—produce for added flavor.

• Avoid processed foods, especially bouillon and commercial soups, breads and crackers, cheeses, chips, cured meats (bacon, bologna, corned beef, ham, salami), pretzels, and salt-cured foods (olives and pickles). Pure maple syrup has almost no sodium while commercial pancake syrups do.

• Read the sodium content on ingredient labels. Many so-called “natural” meats and poultry found in the supermarket have added sodium. A half-cup serving of Prego’s Heart Smart Traditional Italian Sauce has 430 mg of sodium even though it doesn’t taste salty.

• Eat at home more often. Restaurant food—particularly fast food—is notoriously high in sodium. A Premium Caesar Salad at McDonald’s has a whopping 890 mg of sodium—without the dressing! Check out the recipes in Fat Flush for Life for low-sodium, heart-healthy weight loss and wellness.

• Always taste your food before you salt it. Try squeezing on a little lemon or lime juice first. Stimulate your sense of smell and increase flavor by adding more aromatic herbs to your meals.

• Invest in a mortar and pestle. Grinding herbs and spices adds great flavor—and numerous health benefits—to foods.

• Start your day off right. Bagels are not only high in carbs but also sodium (up to 440 mg per serving). Enjoy a breakfast smoothie instead. (You’ll find a delicious recipe at

It’s important to reduce your sodium intake gradually, though, to protect important electrolytes and heart health. Remember, some people—between 15 to 25% of us—are more salt sensitive than others. (Salt sensitivity can be gauged after your body has been given a trial dose of salt, and after your body has eliminated it, your blood pressure then falls by 10 points.) Anyone who sweats a lot or has had diarrhea or vomiting needs sufficient sodium—available from a healthy natural foods diet.

More Ways to Shed False Fat
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that salt cravings are the body’s attempt to balance too much sugar or alcohol in the diet. Watching your intake of these substances can help you cut out salty processed foods—while contributing to healthy weight loss and lower blood pressure.

Food sensitivities—particularly to gluten, casein, and lactose—may also lead to false fats. Fat Flush for Life emphasizes Clean Carbs, non-reactive low-glycemic foods unlikely to create water retention, cravings, or digestive difficulties.

Whether you need to lose a few pounds or a lot, healthy weight loss reduces both false and unwanted fat—while lowering blood pressure without drugs.

My clinical experience shows that the Smoothie Shakedown is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to jumpstart weight loss—and eliminate false fat. Just drink antioxidant- and fiber-rich smoothies twice a day—and then eat a healthy meal with plenty of naturally low-sodium foods. Drink plenty of water during the day to help you feel full.

Christine from Ogunquit, ME lost 7 inches of belly fat in just 2 weeks on the Smoothie Shakedown. Nikki from Post Falls, ID shed 75 pounds, including the weight she’d gained while pregnant.

Anyone who needs to lose 50 pounds or more can get started on the Smoothie Shakedown for a month and then move on to Classic Fat Flush or Fat Flush for Life. For long-term weight control, you probably need the extra support of a seasonal detox program that this Fat Flush protocol provides.

The False Fat Diet
Smoothie Shakedown
Fat Flush for Life
Get the Salt Out,0,5219936.story

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Stephanie Downey

    What is 1500mg egual to in measurement such as teaspoon, pinch or what?

  2. Joel

    A teaspoon of salt has roughly 2400 mgs of sodium.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This