Have you been told to cut back your salt intake?
Well, this common advice for the most part is wrong!!
The vast majority of us don’t need to eat low-salt diets. In fact, for most of us, more salt would be better for our health, rather than less.
Eating more salt can help protect you from a host of ailments, including insulin resistance, diabetes, and even heart disease.
Sodium deficiency may also cause any of the following symptoms (1);
- Muscle weakness
- Poor appetite
Bias, bad research and billions of dollars resulted in the demonetization of both salt and fat (mentioned last article) over the years. Meanwhile, many of the real contributors to modern diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity…etc…) are from overuse of refined carbohydrates and sugar not SALT.
In The Salt Fix, Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D wants us to realize that salt plays a critical role when dealing with many modern diseases from sugar cravings to heart disease.
“Most people are put on this low-salt diet and start having all these symptoms like muscle fatigue, muscle spasms, cramps and heart palpitations. They said their doctors ordered them to not add salt to their food because they have high blood pressure. Yet they were suffering from all these new symptoms … symptoms of salt deficiency. Truth is these people were severely dehydrated. They had low sodium levels in their blood. Within a few days of just upping their salt intake, all of these symptoms went away. Right there, I knew that this low salt advice was just not panning out in the real world.” Dr. James
Dr. DiNicolantonio, taps into decades of research and he illustrates ways in which salt could actually be a solution to many widespread conditions. (here are some excerpts from the book)
- When we restrict our salt intake, our heart rate goes up, reducing our blood and oxygen circulation throughout our body and increasing the heart’s need for oxygen. Any one of these effects, all produced by a low-salt diet, could increase our risk of having a heart attack.
- “The Japanese and South Koreans live the longest, yet they consume the highest amounts of salt,” he says. “We know, even from a population perspective, it never made much sense to cut salt intake.”
- Low salt intake stresses the kidneys and results in lower energy to avoid sweating. This could lead to weight gain.
- Evidence in the medical literature suggests that approx 80% of people with normal blood pressure (less than 120/80 mmHg) are not sensitive to the blood-pressure-raising effect of salt at all.
- Your salt status also directly controls your magnesium and calcium levels. If you do not get enough salt, your body not only starts pulling sodium from the bone, it also strips your bone of magnesium and calcium to maintain a normal sodium level.
- Your body drives you to eat several grams of salt every day to remain in homeostasis, an optimal state in which you put the least amount of stress on your body. But you could literally live the rest of your life – and probably a much longer one – if you never ingested another gram of added sugar.
What can you do to enhance your relationship with salt?**
- Get your Minerals and Electrolytes levels tested (easy blood test)
- If you sweat profusely, either through exercise or sauna use, or drink caffeinated beverages, you automatically will need more than usual.
- Eat good, health-promoting, unprocessed sea salt and ignore those who demonize one white crystal (salt) while giving the other (sugar) a pass.
- While I like pink Himalayan salt for its taste and micro-nutrient content, Dr. DiNicolantonio recommends Redmond Real Salt which, like Himalayan salt, is mined from an ancient ocean salt deposit.
- Add trace minerals to your water! I have been using ConcenTrace Mineral Drops. Easy peasy 🙂
I hope this helps change your views on salt and how it has been misconstrued through the years!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Have a great weekend!
**“A few of us should be concerned about consuming and retaining too much salt, such as people who have the following conditions: Hyperaldosteronism; Cushing’s disease; Liddle syndrome. These folks should monitor and possibly limit their salt intake because they may be especially sensitive to the negative effects of sodium on their blood pressure. But even for these individuals, salt isn’t the main issue; if you treat the underlying disease effectively, you can treat the excessive salt retention.” Dr. James