Sodium Skeptics Try to Shake Up the Salt Debate

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  • I grew up in a household where my mom never cooked with added salt. I have always cooked the same way. After being vegan for almost 2 years I tried a 30 SOS, no salt, sugar or oil diet. Well it was summer and I have no AC and it was up to 110 some days. I knocked my electrolytes out of balance. I was severely dehydrated and no amount of special water, coconut water etc would do it. I ended up at urgent care the doctor was stumped but my PCP the next had me write down all that I had been eating and doing for 2 months. I sort of keep a diary anyway. He gave me an electrolyte blood test and prescriped a 1/4 teaspoon of salt with lemon in warm water every morning. It worked somewhat but I was still have symptoms. He recommended added fat. I tried nuts no response, I tried avocado no response. Then I added a tablespoon of olive oil to my lunch salad. Much better. I still have symptoms and it will probably take a week or even a month to reverse the damage I did. So I guess there is a balance to everything. For me at least I was not getting enough sodium via my fruit and veg. Most likely because I was sweating buckets for 3 months over the summer. Now I still barely break a sweat. I may have caused adrenal fatigue too. Still waiting on those test results. I guess I went a little overboard and past the point of this is healthy. I guess that is why they say check with your doctor before you try some new food plan. However that is hard since there are few doctors like Dr. Gregor in my neck of the woods. Oh well, my fault… silly me.

  • If you live a sedentary lifestyle and consume a poor diet and have high blood pressure then maybe you need to be careful about salt.  For the rest of us I don't believe it to be a problem and have little faith in what studies say following all the advice we have been given on diet over the years that changes so often.

  • Lowest blood pressure is in South Korea where they consume 4,000+ mg sodium / day. Centuries ago when cured meats were widely consumed people didn't have cardiovascular issues like today.

    Very clear that sodium is good for us, and the recommended 2 g per day is actually the worse possible recommendation for anyone with functional kidneys.

  • you need natural sodium from food salt is dehydrating whenever i have it i feel so thirsty! when i avoid it and eat plenty of natural sodium a good 800 mg worth i feel great and never feel thirsty my migraines are also gone. If you were stranded on a island and all you had to drink was sea water you would be better off drinking nothing because the sea water would kill you quicker!

  • People drinking coffee, 4 cups/day, are consuming their sodium reserves. In time, if you drink coffee, soft-drinks, sugar, alcohol, then your levels of metabolic sodium will be chronically deficient. The papers quoted by our dear physician, are not conclusive. They have too many assumptions regarding. It's sugar not salt consumption levels that should, vis a vis, be correlated with coronary deceases, specially hypertension.

  • I restricted salt for a year and started having fainting spells. I had to add back a bit of salt and the fainting went away. I have low blood pressure.
    I avoid salt that has the free-running agents in it, like Sodium ferrocyanide, or Yellow Prussiate of Soda, which has cyanide in it. Be sure to read the labels!
    I take two drops of half-strength Lugols Iodine daily for my thyroid. Sea vegetables have Iodine.
    Salt is an electrolyte and part of a balance we need of potassium, and magnesium. We are electrical beings. Our body's work like batteries. We just need the right amount and no more. Excess salt needs to be filtered out by our kidneys. Just like excess refined sugar. Processed foods eaten constantly puts pressure on our kidneys and liver and pancreas.

    The thing is, salt in high concentrations works as a preservative. So it is added to a lot of packaged foods and is used in fast foods for that reason. And whenever we dry a food we concentrate the salt in it. So we end up eating way more salt just for convenience sake and "shelf life."

    Long Shelf life means old, dead, food.

    Preserved foods are great for emergency rations, but were never good as a long term diet. It's like we are all eating rations like sailors on a ship at sea, when there is fresh food available right outside our door. We are all eating kibble, like rats in a cage. The cage door is open, and we don't even notice.

  • I have watched various of your videos about salt intake and it prompted me to do more research. And as a result my opinion about salt intake has changed.

    But,…. even though I am agreeing now with the importance of not consuming too much salt,… I still think there is much more to BP regulation than just how much salt you eat. Potassium for example is actually a much more important factor I think. Potassium directly regulates how much sodium is excreted. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium is excreted, which may compensate for excess sodium intake. (I think that's where all the confusion about this subject comes from.) You can reduce salt intake, but without increasing potassium intake, it will have a minor effect on BP because the PB set point is mainly determined by potassium I think, and not all that much by sodium.

    So why don't doctors tell people to eat less salt AND eat more potassium rich food? Not even you talk about potassium when talking about sodium and BP.

    But alright. I'm glad your videos prompted me to research this subject better and I'm going to test this by reducing the amount of salt I add to food when I cook. I hardly eat processed foods so there's not much to gain there, but I can reduce how much salt I add to food. I already eat tons of vegetables and low sugar fruits (on average 300 to 400 grams per day) so it won't be easy, nor necessary to increase that much.

    👍

    Added, I just found this sodium calculator (very cool)

    https://www.projectbiglife.ca/sodium

    Seems that my current sodium intake is at 1500mg per day. Which is less than I thought it was. But it used to be much higher. Before going low carb and iliminating all processed foods, I was probably at double that.

  • This entire video can be proven to be either extremely disingenuous or plain ignorant by the following:

    The Japanese study you highlighted dropped from 18g of salt to 14g of salt daily, or from 7,200mg of sodium down to 5,600mg. Not exactly a low sodium diet, and obviously going from excessively high amounts to a lower extreme is going to cause a beneficial effect.

    The Finland study measured salt EXCRETION, not intake. Numerous factors cause the kidneys to become salt wasting including stimulants, diuretics, a vast amount of pharmaceuticals, stress, being elderly, cancer, kidney problems, diabetes, liver problems, bowel problems, etc. None of which are indicative of health, but more importantly limit the conclusions one could draw from this study.

    Followed immediately by a strawman/appeal to common sense via the smoking analogy. Not an argument, not science, and indicative of a personal belief rather than chasing facts – especially since you've preached and no doubt practiced a low sodium diet for years.

    TOHP study: no indication of sodium intake. Cutting 25% off of 5,000mg+ is significantly different than cutting 25% off of 3,000mg.

    CDC did a study in 2014 that showed "no benefits of reducing sodium below 2,300mg per day", yet that's still the FDA's upper limit.

    You continually hint that there's some "big salt/food" industry behind this, yet health conscious people – aka most people – find "low sodium" to be more appealing because they know it's "good" for them. Ironically, the biggest industry to gain from this misinformation – if you want to make it out to be some grand conspiracy – is actually pharmaceutical companies.

    The incidence of fatal cardiac events actually sharply increases the further below ~3,000mg of sodium, and you have a significantly higher risk of dying from a cardiac event eating 2,000mg of sodium daily (worse with less) than eating even up to 12,000mg daily…

    Our body has no defense mechanism against insufficient sodium other than increasing insulin levels to cause the kidneys to retain salt. Ironically this process also causes aldosterone and norepinephrine levels to rise dramatically, lowering blood volume, drastically increasing heart rate due to the lowered blood volume and norepinephrine, and causes a cascade of detrimental health effects, including increased insulin resistance.

    Sodium deficiency can cause nearly anything bad: liver problems, GI problems, acid reflux/GERD (caused by insufficient stomach acid because you can't make hydrochloric acid without the chloride from salt…), fatigue, dizziness, ARRYTHMIAS, high blood pressure (from huge amounts of aldosterone), increased resting heart rate (which can lead to an enlarged heart), insulin resistance (body's defense mechanism is to increase insulin to cause sodium retention in the kidneys to not run out), shunting of blood from extremities, etc, etc.

    Guess who sells the cure for all of those? But no, blame the big evil food companies… Is every problem caused by a salt deficiency? Absolutely not, but the risks of not getting enough without a doubt outweigh the consequences of not enough. Salt to taste, eat plenty of produce for potassium, and cut sugar (but not fruit) and sodium wouldn't even be debated…

  • My mother had a stroke in her low fifties, despite having low blood pressure, not drinking, not smoking, 23 BMI and being relatively healthy. Doctor's told her that they didn't know why and that it probably ran in the family. Now that I don't live at home anymore, every time I visit I try to avoid her food. Everything is drowning in fat and is disgustingly salty. When my mother gives me a takeout, I often wash it, trying to get rid of the fat and salt but I can't.
    I am trying to convince her to be healthier. Eating less than a teaspoon of salt a day, only coating the pan with oil instead of having the food swim in oil but she doesn't listen and still fears another stroke as if she can't do anything to prevent it.
    She also always complains about headaches but refuses to drink more than a liter of water a day or go to bed before midnight and only sleeping till 6 am.
    It's depressing to see people that don't want to change…

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