Water retention is a health problem where the body can’t flush out excess fluids, which begin to build up in the tissues. The ailment leads to swelling in the hands, legs, ankles, feet, and other body parts. Water retention can result from several factors, including underlying health conditions. However, nutrition also plays a significant role in its development. The following foods are known to cause water retention and should be avoided.
Carbonated beverages contain a lot of carbon dioxide and artificial sweeteners, which cause the body to retain excess water. When thirsty, individuals should avoid these and opt for natural fruit juices and healthy fluids.
Deli meats like sausages, bacon, pepperoni, and salami have high sodium. Sodium helps preserve the meat and gives it a unique flavor. However, an excess can cause the body to retain more water. Hence, one should limit deli meat intake to maintain a healthy sodium-to-water ratio.
Appetizers like mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, potato boats, and chicken nuggets taste great and satiate cravings. However, these foods are likely to cause water retention owing to a higher amount of unhealthy fats and sodium.
Seasoned flavored nuts like chili almonds and salted mixed nuts are often staples during snack time. However, eating too many of these over an extended period can cause the body to retain excess water, increasing the risk of swelling.
Pasta varieties made from white refined flour are high in simple carbohydrates. The body converts these carbohydrates to glycogen to supply energy to the cells. For each gram of glycogen, the body retains at least three grams of water. So, the more one eats pasta, the higher the water retention.
Baked goods like pastries, cookies, and cakes contain an abundance of simple carbs and refined sugar. They also have some amount of salt. While these add to the flavor of baked foods, they also increase the likelihood of water retention when consumed regularly.
Under normal circumstances, sodium combines with the water in the body and maintains electrolyte balance in the cells. But when one frequently consumes instant foods, ready-to-cook meals, and packaged foods, the amount of sodium in the body increases. As a result, the body retains more water to keep the electrolyte balance intact.