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Salt is healthy? Low salt may actually increase mortality...



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  • Salt is healthy? Low salt may actually increase mortality...

    Salt wars

    Although it doesn't say what the optimum level is, or what kind of salt it is, so thoughts people? How much salt do you consume? Could there be differences between table salt and natural salt? (ie. celtic sea salt, himalayan salt - thinking more in relation to the trace amounts of heavy metals which can be found and how increasing intake would also increase heavy metal exposure)


  • #2
    Yes. For normal healthy people, salt is fine.

    There are people who need to avoid too much salt however... and they generally know who they are.
    Such as people suffering from CHD/HBP and the resulting edema. Salt intake often results in a sudden increase in the edema and a huge increase in the BP as well which stresses an already bad heart. Not a good combo.
    My father-in-law is in this situation.

    Also, myself. My body does not process spinal/intracranial fluid properly and the resulting water retention from eating excess salt is very stressful. High intracranial pressure can cause permanent damage including blindness if not managed carefully. Not good.

    Some people with kidney disease might also have a problem with salt in their diet...
    Like I said, those who really shouldn't consume it probably know it... although there is also good scientific evidence that most people over consume sodium chloride in relation to or under consume potassium and other minerals (due to processed foods) and that it is actually this imbalance that creates many of the problems more than just 'salt' itself.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
    ~Friedrich Nietzsche
    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, I really do need to try and un-learn everything that CW has taught me...


      • #4
        Originally posted by cyro_349 View Post
        Could there be differences between table salt and natural salt? (ie. celtic sea salt, himalayan salt - thinking more in relation to the trace amounts of heavy metals which can be found and how increasing intake would also increase heavy metal exposure)
        I don't think heavy metals are likely to be a problem with anything on the market. There's an analysis of Celtic seasalt here:

        The mercury level is low enough to be classed as "not detectable".

        And on the plus side you're getting a little magnesium, potassium, and boron, and other minerals in smaller amounts.

        I would use a good broad-spectrum seasalt or rocksalt in moderate amounts. I guess from the point of view of airmiles and so on, flying salt across the globe isn't really a good thing. It seems a waste of resources and unsustainable, besides being more expensive for you at the point of sale on account of the expense of doing that. There's good salt from Utah in the U.S. -- I think this is the one:

        Real Salt Natural Sea Salt. Is Your Salt Real?

        I don't know about Down Under. I'd think there must be something a bit more local. Maybe the Nourishing Gourmet would know -- isn't that an Oz site?


        • #5
          Salt is ONLY a problem because it increases your blood pressure. Speaking personally, my BP went from 160/100 to 110/80 eating primally.

          I never used to saltmy food, and now I'm a fiend for it.
          Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

          Griff's cholesterol primer
          5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
          Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
          TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
          bloodorchid is always right


          • #6
            My experience is much like magicmerl's.

            Once you get off processed foods, you can begin to salt your food again. I'm still not a big salt lover, but I do cook with it.

            Example. A can of Progresso soup shows that one serving has about 20% (or more) of the sodium you need in a day, but there are two servings per can, so that's 40%. That's a lot of sodium for one bowl of soup. But once you're making your own soups, etc., and using tasty real food, you don't have to mask cheap veggies and dry meat with salt to make it palatable.
            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


            • #7
              This has been an issue for me. I kept having a terrible taste in my mouth all the time. I was told it was because of eating low carb, but it persisted even adding more carbs back in. Then I read to up my salt intake and started taking 1/4 teaspoon of dirty sea salt in addition to salting my foods. That finally made it go away. It also stopped the random puffiness I had been attributing to too much salt. That kind of blew my mind a bit. If I forget for a few days, the taste comes right back.


              • #8
                I'm amazed that this is still news. I remember back in the 1990s people speaking out that the "reduce salt" fixation wasn't backed by science. It was that bit of non-scientific CW that made the "reduce fat" CW more suspect for me, opening the mental doors for parts of primal.

                For myself, I don't eat very much salt if I cook for myself. I was thinking about it the other day and I easily go through five or six times as much black pepper as salt. More than that if you don't count homemade sauerkraut and the like. I very rarely salt anything except meat. As a result, restaurant food (soups, for example) usually taste extremely (often unpleasantly) salty to me. Back in the days when I got french fries at fast food places, I was the guy who asked for them without salt...not for any health reason, but because most of the time they put WAY too much salt on them for me.

                On the other hand, I also know what it feels like to be salt depleted. It's miserable. I learned that years ago. After a day of outdoor activities I would feel sick and go have a baked potato...after trying that a few times and finding it didn't help I looked at the ring of dried salt on my shirt and drew the obvious conclusion. After that, I had the same baked potato, but piled with as much salt as I would normally use in a week of cooking. Suddenly I woke back up and felt better.


                • #9
                  Context is everything. Adding more salt is certainly something to consider when switching from a salt-laden SAD diet to eating whole foods on primal. Low salt suddenly becomes a potential hazard.
                  F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.


                  • #10
                    I just forwarded this to my mother... she was diagnosed with HBP about 3-4 years ago. She eliminated most processed foods except for breads, pasta - which she continues to buy "no salt added" - and NEVER adds salt to anything. She actually had blood results come back for LOW SODIUM. But she continues to adhere to her strict low sodium diet and is almost as much of a nuisance to go out to eat with as me I'm sure she has seen something on Dr. Oz to argue this though.


                    • #11
                      Extreme salt reduction leads to hyponatremia, which causes heart, and kidney failure. Most everyone with a sensitivity to salt probably just has a deficiency in magnesium or poor glucose metabolism.
                      Make America Great Again


                      • #12
                        The (Political) Science of Salt:


                        The opinion of some scientists working in the area, and based on data that's as good as anyone's got, would seem to be that even hypertensives would see little benefit from sodium reduction.

                        I think this issue may have been something of a stalking horse for the saturated fat issue for Taubes (although when he first began looking into that he had taken the ideology that's offered to the public about it hook, line, and sinker).

                        What we would seem to have -- as with saturated fat -- is people knowingly going far beyond what was warranted by the data on the basis of hunches, working on the basis that if we wait till we do know it'll be too late for people ... and not understanding that if the hunches are wrong then the leap of faith gets us precisely nowhere. Then you get a much larger number of other, less well-informed, people with weaker understanding who take an under-determined case as fact without even knowing that there's any doubt.