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Thread: Salt, good or bad? page

  1. #1
    Drlove's Avatar
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    Salt, good or bad?

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    Hey,

    Well, I've read on Tom Naughton's blog about a meta analysis that seemed to indicate that high salt intakes had little effect regarding blood pressure, and even more than that, lower (than normal) sodium intakes were related to problems much worse than a 1% (about so, it's pretty much irrelevant) increase in blood pressure.
    I assume it has something to do with processed vs un-processed salt, though I didn't really get it, what's the difference? How can you process salt?

    Point is, thinking of the primal way of live, humans probably didn't get THAT much sodium in the first place. We most likely didn't have an abundance of salt until later on, therefore our sodium intakes were probably lower than today. Which might correlate to the claims stating that sodium is the culprit.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Drlove View Post
    Hey,

    Well, I've read on Tom Naughton's blog about a meta analysis that seemed to indicate that high salt intakes had little effect regarding blood pressure, and even more than that, lower (than normal) sodium intakes were related to problems much worse than a 1% (about so, it's pretty much irrelevant) increase in blood pressure.
    I assume it has something to do with processed vs un-processed salt, though I didn't really get it, what's the difference? How can you process salt?

    Point is, thinking of the primal way of live, humans probably didn't get THAT much sodium in the first place. We most likely didn't have an abundance of salt until later on, therefore our sodium intakes were probably lower than today. Which might correlate to the claims stating that sodium is the culprit.


    Opinions?
    Primal/paleo diets are pretty low salt compared to the average because of the whole foods and lack of packaged/prepared foods (which is where most of the salt in people's diet comes from). We do need some salt in our daily intake, and so I think the small amount you would add in home-cooked foods is not going to cause you any issues. We crave salt because we need some for health and historically, it would have been harder to get than it is now, so we have a drive to consume it and will tend to eat lots when it's available in unrestricted quantities.

    If the studies were of sodium intake, then they would not likely be sorted by processed vs. unprocessed salt and that's very unlikely to show up on the meta-analysis. Really, salt is a mineral that's either sourced as sea salt or mined salt and then purified to a greater or lesser extent. Some sea salts have additional trace minerals, but that's not going to show up in an analysis that's looking strictly at sodium intake.
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    Rip @ MIPWID's Avatar
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    I think the problem is the salt content of processed food which is at levels way above what we need. It does appear to be essential, so adding seasoning to your whole foods shouldn't cause any problems at all.

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    also note, salt's pretty darn important if you are exercising or live in a hot climate. i know during my cardio days i had several emergencies that were directly related to being sodium depleted. saline infusions via IV were critical. so as has been mentioned already, salt is not good or bad inherently, but too much or too little can be problematic. as for salt quality, don't know much about that, but i definitely can taste a difference between various types of salts, and find sea salts and the "electrolyte added" packets of salt at whole foods to give me a boost of energy, whereas just the "Mortons" kind doesn't really do much for me.
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    My bp is low, around 110/65, so I'm in agreement with previous posts on this thread.
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    Refined salt is sodium chloride. It's white. Unrefined salt is usually colored, either gray or other colors, because it has other stuff in it.

    Even animals seek out salt. We all need salt. Even paleo man had plenty of salt because he consumed the blood of animals, which is rich in salt. The word "salary" has as its base the base word for salt because in ancient times workers were paid in salt. Salt is important and good, especially if your diet is lower in carbs than the typical SAD diet. Your body just doesn't retain as much salt when it's not stuffed with grains.
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    We need a good balance between sodium and potassium intake.

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    for myself,i have never subscribed to the NA theory of HTN. you do see people who are helped by diuresis and low NA diets. but these people have pump failure and often have periperal constriction issues to boot. so,they get swelling peripherally,which diuretics and low NA intake can help. as a critical care nurse of 38 years experience,i CAN tell you that low NA is a VERY bad thing. it is (only) my impression that most american hypertension is chronic stress related. thus helped by ACE blockers,as is my own. DM also plays a huge role in this cascade. NA is NA from whatever scource so artifical/natural is a total non issue. i do agree that our NA intake is too high,but or MG and K intakes are likely too low and these problems do not lend themselves to simple one dimensional fixes. i will say that,again IMHO,that this doesn't apply to black people. they have developed over millinea of evolutionary adaptation to be able to retain water and NA in an evironment where that ability had real survival value. our modern american,admittedly high NA diet,is devastating to their evolved in a different environment physiological adaptations. e.g. eskimos require a lot more fat than we do to keep their temp> 97 in the artic. give them a modern US diet and they crash big time. we are all the same,but we do have our differences.

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    Magnesium (Mg) and Potassium (K) intakes are probably too low in very low carb diets. Hence, why I like paleo or primal with more moderate carb intakes.

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    Thanks for the answers!, that certainly got my head straight.
    Btw, DM means diabetes?

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