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How much salt does one need?

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  • How much salt does one need?

    Because of blood pressure issues and CW recommendations I got out of the habit of cooking w/ salt. Now, having gone primal and having essentially cut out all processed/packaged food I am wondering at what point I become deficient (if ever) and if I will have cravings to let me know?

    I don't miss it but the word salary does derive from the Roman legions being partially paid in salt and a lot of effort was expended in antiquity to obtain it yet where would Grok have gotten it?

    I have Googled a bit but I'm being led down the hyponatremia path which is a bit to the extreme. Thanks in advance.
    Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

  • #2
    I wouldn't be worried about sodium intake quite as much as I would be about iodine intake. If you eat a lot of food from the sea this might not be an issue for you.

    Have you had your thyroid hormones checked since you started eating primally?

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    • #3
      I think that if you've cut out processed foods then using salt to make things taste better won't be a problem. Just remember that "salt to taste" doesn't mean add so much that you taste the salt, but add enough that the salt enhances the natural flavor of what you're cooking/eating. Sodium deficiency is quite rare and you'll know about it pretty quickly as it's essential for proper muscle functioning. If I recall correctly it causes spasms or trembling or some such. If you're concerned about having too much salt I'd say get something to measure your BP and do it throughout the day -- as Mark mentioned it can fluctuate wildly so maybe keep track of the average for each day and see where you're at.

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      • #4
        Salt is not a neccessity. You don't need any.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SteakNchop View Post
          Salt is not a neccessity. You don't need any.
          Really? Not according to my quickie research.

          Sources, please!
          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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          • #6
            Natural foods from meat to veggies to fruit (especially) are all much higher in potassium than sodium, often by a factor of 4 or more.

            It's the P/K ratio that is so out of whack in modern life, more than the absolute amount of sodium. A teaspoon of salt substitute will give you about 2.5 grams of potassium. (It's bitter, I mix it in - ta, ta! - low sodium V8 juice and don't notice it.)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
              Really? Not according to my quickie research.

              Sources, please!
              The inuit people did not have access to salt. They were healthy, and had a good bit of potassium from all the fish they ate.

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              • #8
                The inuit people did not have access to salt. They were healthy, and had a good bit of potassium from all the fish they ate.
                Ahem..Caribou blood is high in sodium and fish does contain sodium as well. Not to mention seaweed...and surely they could evaporate seawater if they wanted salt--that's what much of the world does...
                Here's some info.
                Last edited by Dragonfly; 11-22-2010, 05:27 PM. Reason: clarity
                Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                  Ahem..Caribou blood is high in sodium and fish does contain sodium as well. Not to mention seaweed...and surely they could evaporate seawater if they wanted salt--that's what much of the world does...
                  Here's some info.
                  Well, according to the journals of Steffanson, they only ate meat, with no salt whatsoever. So no seaweed or evaporated seawater.

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                  • #10
                    I'd die without salt. I don't eat tablesalt, just fancy sea salts. They're good for my adrenal function.
                    Did the Inuit eat fresh water fish? If they ate salt water fish wouldn't they be recieving salt fromthat?

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                    • #11
                      When I first started this primal / paleo eating, I cut salt out completely. I had to re-introduce some pretty quick as my hands and fingers started getting cramp easily - I work with my hands and was losing too much time to cramp. Salt on food - cramp stopped.

                      SreaknChop - surely the Inuit ate / eat loads of raw fish. Raw fish = salt. Lots of salt. Cooked fish also has salt - and some of the water will have cooked out so more salt.

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                      • #12
                        Well how about the guys on zeroinginonhealth.com
                        They don't eat salt and are perfectly healthy.

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                        • #13
                          I believe SteakNChop means you don't need any added salt. It's pretty clear that we need sodium, but depending on diet we should be getting enough from our food. Salt was used as a medium of exchange in antiquity because of its preservative action, not as a dietary supplement. That's also the original reason for cured meats like bacon, salt pork and salt fish.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Melody View Post
                            I'd die without salt. I don't eat tablesalt, just fancy sea salts. They're good for my adrenal function.
                            Did the Inuit eat fresh water fish? If they ate salt water fish wouldn't they be recieving salt fromthat?
                            They cooked with no salt and the fish did not taste salty.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
                              I believe SteakNChop means you don't need any added salt. It's pretty clear that we need sodium, but depending on diet we should be getting enough from our food. Salt was used as a medium of exchange in antiquity because of its preservative action, not as a dietary supplement. That's also the original reason for cured meats like bacon, salt pork and salt fish.
                              Exactly. Thanks for clearing that up for some people.

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