Weight Loss Support - Thoughts on salt?




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rubidoux
08-21-2011, 04:33 PM
For years I have been trying to figure out whether I should be worried about salt, and I think I have mostly come to the conclusion that I haven't yet found a reason to worry about it. :dizzy: I eat a TON of salt, like a really crazy amount. People are horrified when they see how I use salt. But my grandmother did the exact same thing. She died younger than she should have, mid-60s, of lung cancer after smoking for many decades, so I'm going to chalk that up to not being salt-related. She had low blood pressure her whole life (mine has been low to normal).

Anyway... I keep asking doctors and they tell me not to worry about it and go ahead and eat the salt. When I was pregnant the second time I blew up like a BALLOON and my perinatologist said, don't stop the salt! And then one day I went to mcdonald's so my older child could run around w/o me having to chase him, ate a huge order of fries with a couple of extra salt packets poured on, worried that I would have a heart attack or pop, and then shockingly, my swelling went down a shocking amount!

So, it's not intuitive to me. I haven't read anything that convinces me that it's important not to eat it. My doctors say it's okay to eat it. But everyone I know IRL and everyone I see online talking about it seems to think it is super necessary to cut it out. My husband is "watching his salt," thought he is not sure why.


kelly315
08-21-2011, 04:46 PM
Salt gave me a terrible week last week- I ate a ton and didn't lose weight for 10 days. It wasn't until three days after I cut out the salt that I lost again- almost five pounds for that period. So personally, I tend to retain a ton of water on the stuff. Of course, it's probably indivudalized.

As far as the salt and blood pressure issue, there are contradicting studies on that. I recently heard (from one of my professors) of one that suggested that salt only influences blood pressure significantly in people with a certain pair of genes, one which was very common in people of African ancestry.

rubidoux
08-21-2011, 05:04 PM
So, for you, it seems like the salt actually stopped the fat loss? I could certainly see that being a good reason to cut it out.

In my case, I'm assuming that I am a bit heavier because I eat so much salt (though, for all I know I would be heavier without, given my mcdonald's experience), but that it's always the same couple of pounds and does not effect fat loss. If I found out my water loss would be ten pounds, I might actually try not eating salt, but I am assuming it's more like 1 to 4 pounds. I have nothing to base that on though. lol

But I don't think it could be effecting my fat loss, since I've lost quite a bit now, though it's possible I'd be losing faster.

I had heard that too about the blood pressure issue being one that only applied to a small number of people of African descent and I think maybe also just men, though I might have made that up. At any rate, I don't *think* it applies to me, though I do have some African ancestry, I don't think it's much at all. And then there's the fact that my blood pressure is fine. So I don't think I need to worry about that.

eta: Did you eat your usual meal plan, with the only difference being more added salt?


tuende
08-21-2011, 05:24 PM
I didn't set out to cut sodium, but it ended up happening when I cut processed foods. I was never one to add salt to food either, so while I don't keep track per se, I'd say my sodium intake is pretty low. I don't know that having sodium in my diet interferes with losing fat, but it does interfere with what the scale says- when I do have more of it it makes me retain water like nothing! It will eventually go away, but it's annoying. I've also become really sensitive to the taste of salt, so I end up avoiding excessive amounts for that reason too. (If only this could happen with the taste of sugar... ;) )

If your doc says the amount of salt in your diet is OK for you health wise, I wouldn't be too concerned. Our bodies need salt to function! Finding that right balance for you is what it's all about :).

kelly315
08-21-2011, 05:25 PM
So, for you, it seems like the salt actually stopped the fat loss? I could certainly see that being a good reason to cut it out.

..
eta: Did you eat your usual meal plan, with the only difference being more added salt?

No, I kept losing the fat. I lost a few inches in those few days only, and when I stopped eating so much salt the water retention decreased and my weight decreased, showing the fat loss. During that week and a half I lost almost five pounds- exactly what my bodybugg predicted I would lose based on my calorie deficit. It just all came off in one day because of the water retention.

And yes- I'm a calorie counter and was very good during this period, but I got on a popcorn kick. I found a low calorie topping that I love, but didn't realize how much salt I had been eating until afterward. It took about 3 days off the popcorn for me to lose the water.

I've never heard that water retention is particularly bad for you, and I continued to lose fat during this period, so if you're used to eating a higher amount of sodium consistently, then maybe it shouldn't be a problem. It's wasn't really a problem for me except that it was frustrating to see the scale move so little.

kaplods
08-21-2011, 05:43 PM
Not everyone, not even everyone with high blood pressure, has to watch sodium. Oddly enough, even though I have high blood pressure, I have to watch salt in reverse - that is I have to make sure I'm getting enough.

My sodium levels tend to run on the low-side. I don't intentionally restrict sodium, but I was raised in a family that used very little salt. No salt at the table, and usually it was omitted or greatly reduced in recipes. My mother always taught me to use no more than 1/4 of whatever a recipe called for, or to leave it out entirely.

I wasn't raised on lots of processed or junk foods either, though because it is in almost everything I'm sure I still exceeded (or at least met) the RDA, especially since I like pickles and asian food which tends to be rather high in sodium.

I do retain water with sodium, but it doesn't appear to affect my blood pressure. Also, for some reason (probably a combination of diet, fluid intake, genetics, and my blood pressure medication) my body tends to shed sodium more easily than most. My sodium levels are always at the very bottom border of normal. Every once in a while, it will cross into too-low levels and my doctor will tell me to add a little salt for a couple days, and before surgeries I have to have my sodium levels checked. In the past I even had to take sodium supplements before surgery. My mother is the same way (even though we're not biologically related, as I was adopted) and she actually was hospitalized with water poisioning (which is essentially dangeorusly low sodium levels, because water washes sodium from the body).

Some health professionals argue that it's not sodium quantity that is a problem by itself, it's the sodium/potassium ratio that is more important. As a result many believe that if you're eating a lot of sodium, eating more potassium rich foods and/or drinking extra water is more important than the amount of sodium you're taking in.

I think people need to discuss sodium with their doctor, and if their doctor tells them not to worry - then they shoudln't worry.

DietVet
08-21-2011, 05:52 PM
That's really interesting. I LOVE salt, love it. I add salt to everything--including peanut butter and salad! But I don't eat much processed or junky food so I figure that's ok trade off. :)

My partner has started to nag me about my salt consumption recently but as my blood pressure is on the low side, I reckon I'm ok.



ETA: Am I making this up or is sodium related to the hardening of arteries? Or is that what the blood pressure thing is about?

JoJoJo2
08-21-2011, 06:12 PM
I am hypertensive, so I recently asked my doctor about salt, and he said for me not to worry about it. So I don't. :)

There's too many other things I have to worry about out there. :wave:

rubidoux
08-21-2011, 06:18 PM
Oddly enough, even though I have high blood pressure, I have to watch salt in reverse - that is I have to make sure I'm getting enough.

I think people need to discuss sodium with their doctor, and if their doctor tells them not to worry - then they shoudln't worry.

It is so interesting to me that you and your mother don't eat much salt even though it seems like you're on the salt-deficient side of things. I read an article a while back that said that studies have shown that all over the world people eat very similar levels of salt (on average, I believe individuals didn't all fall in at the same level) and it's believed that we have some mechanism that causes us, as individuals, to eat what we need to keep our levels steady and at the right levels. When I read it, I was comforted for a moment and then thought, eh, my mechanism is probably broken. lol But it makes me wonder why you and your mother don't have a bit more of a taste for salt.

I am also comforted by the doctors repeatedly telling me it's fine. But I did leave out the fact that once upon a time, they told me it was terrible. Those were in the same days that they told me to eat huge amounts of carbs and no fat, etc. Now they seem to have all changed their tune on all of it. And I think they are closer to right now, given what my experience has been, but sometimes I just wonder if they just believe everything they read. :dizzy:

DietVet, Good to know I'm not alone! :) I salt peanut butter too, and most salads. My mother doesn't eat salt like I do, probably in the normal range as far as quantity, but she salts the strangest things. She puts salt on watermelon, apples, and grapefruit, which I generally don't do -- though I love a nice sweet apple with peanut butter and a ton of salt.

JoJoJo, It's good to hear it's not only my doctors! Maybe it really is all of them now.

Do you all thing this salt thing is a thing of the past? I feel like *everywhere* I turn I am reading/hearing that people are trying to reduce salt, though. Didn't they recently start some crazy campaign in NYC about forcing restaurants to lower salt? When I hear that the mayor of NYC is on an anti-salt campaign it really makes me wonder. What does he know that I don't? Or is he just remembering that when he was in grade school people said salt was bad? If that's what he's relying on, someone needs to sit him down for a chat.

rubidoux
08-21-2011, 06:34 PM
Ok, here it is: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2010/pr053-10.shtml It's not restaurants, I guess, just a campaign to get people to pay attention to and lower their salt.

So, who's right, the NYC health commish or my own personal endocrinologist, perinatologist, and GP? I'm guessing my docs are right, and I'm guessing that it is true that only a small segment of black men need to worry about a specific blood pressure syndrome (disease?). But according to the linked article, it sure looks like some pretty powerful doctors believe otherwise. They can't just be on crack, can they?

I guess after reading Good Calorie, Bad Calorie, I should not be in the slightest surprised by this sort of discrepancy, but it does disturb me. Partly because of all of the years that I was banging my head against a wall eating low fat and being so proud for meeting my whole grain and high fiber requirements for the day. Gah! I would really like to know the real answer somehow. I feel like this should not be beyond the capacity of modern day scientists to figure out.

kaplods
08-21-2011, 06:48 PM
It is so interesting to me that you and your mother don't eat much salt even though it seems like you're on the salt-deficient side of things. I read an article a while back that said that studies have shown that all over the world people eat very similar levels of salt (on average, I believe individuals didn't all fall in at the same level) and it's believed that we have some mechanism that causes us, as individuals, to eat what we need to keep our levels steady and at the right levels.


There've also been many studies that have found that the more salt you eat, the more salt you want. So I think there may be some truth to a "biological drive for adequate salt intake," but that's assuming a person has access to, and is eating relatively whole, unadulturated, natural foods and not ingesting other non-natural chemicals. Once substances not found in nature, such as medications, processed foods, and table salt enter the equation, you can't rely on those physiological mechanisms anymore. And of course, when you're not following your natural instincts because you've been told NOT TO, that also changes the ballgame.



If my mother and I weren't on blood pressure medications, no doubt our sodium intake would be adequate. When I first had to take the sodium supplements, my doctor at the time told me that blood pressure medications either wash sodium or potassium out of the blood. Because the SAD (standard american diet) is much higher in sodium than potassium, most blood pressure medications are potassium-sparing rather than sodium-sparing.

In addition to the medications, we've both dieted most of our lives - and current diet culture (at least over the past 35 years) advocates drinking far more water than we'd naturally want to. My mom's water intoxication was directly linked to the fact that her WW leader told her that she had to compensate for every cup of coffee with TWO cups of additional water. Mom was only drinking about a gallon of liquids a day, but it was enough to deplete her sodium levels over time.

The kidney specialist called in (because water intoxication damages the kidneys), said he's seeing more and more cases of water intoxication because of dieting water myths. At one time, he said it was rare for even kidney specialists to see more than one case of water poisioning in a career, now even general practitioners are seeing it - and not just in the usual patients (extreme athletes, mentally ill with OCD water drinking compulsion, and people trying to wash illegal drugs from their system for a drug screen).

He pointed out that if coffee were that dehydrating, that people who drink only coffee (and there are plenty of them) would die of dehydration, and they don't. He pointed out (in argument against the water-only advocates) that in the Middle Ages no one drank water, because water wasn't safe. Adults and even children met their fluid needs through foods and soup and beer (because the water for both were boiled, but the people didn't know about boiling water).

In a natural world, when we're following our instincts and the good example of people around us following thousands if not millions of years of tradition - I think we do tend to eat what we need - but our current diet and lifestyles (and the beliefs that guide them) are so far from natural, that we can't rely on those instincts - especially since we don't eat foods we would if we had to rely on a natural diet (insects, all parts of the animal including organ meats, blood, bone, and skin, and tons of plants that we consider weeds and twigs).

Many years ago, there was a study done that found that toddlers given access to a wide variety of foods, allowed to eat whatever they chose, chose a balanced diet. That study was used to argue that humans had an instinct for a balanced diet.

Modern studies however found this only to be true when natural, whole foods were offerred (as was done in the original study). When "junk food" and processed foods enter the mix - babies don't choose a varied, balanced diet - they choose the processed foods (the addictive flavor combination David Kessler describes in his book The End of Overeating - sugar or starch/fat/salt).

When you combine the flavor/food combination of carbs/fat/salt, people tend to eat far more than they would otherwise (Kessler calls it "conditioned hypereating").

To some degree, humans have always gravitated towards this flavor combination in "celebration foods," but historically they were expensive and difficult to obtain and prepare. People had to work very hard (expend a lot of energy) to acquire these foods, so they were never a large part of the diet).

We've created such an artificial world that are instincts don't work well in it.

JohnP
08-21-2011, 07:12 PM
A while back I did a lot of research into the data on salt and in a nutshell here is the deal.

Dramatically lowering salt intake will decrease blood pressure in most people. Not a huge amount - but it's there.

Increasing salt intake will increase blood pressure only in those people who are "salt sensative".

Thus - if you're not salt sensative - I wouldn't really worry too much about salt.

The only time to worry about salt for most people is if you're planning on going on an ultra restrictive diet such as a PSMF in which case it is important to make sure you're getting enough sodium.

yossarianlives
08-21-2011, 07:14 PM
I don't add salt to food, but I definitely don't avoid it. I just have to watch because I get the worst cramps in my legs if I don't keep my salt up. It's an awful way to be woken up in the middle of the night :(

Ursula745
08-21-2011, 08:54 PM
I have been reading about salt intake and the things I've read, mostly naturopathic, are that salt isn't the enemy. It's the imbalance between salt and potassium. Our diets today are high in salt and low in potassium, but if you get enough potassium to balance out sodium, water retention goes away and your adrenals begin to function normally again, where they will eliminate any salt your body doesn't need on their own. Now, I'm playing with this. I'm leaving my salt intake alone and increasing potassium to about 4500 mg per day. We'll see what happens, but salt is not the enemy it once was. I'm not saying follow this, I am simply sharing my experience and what I read. You should always follow your doctors advice though, or maybe see one again or a nutritionist.

ennay
08-22-2011, 01:53 AM
I'm not terribly salt sensitive, have low blood pressure and tend to exercise a lot. I have no real reason to give up salt. I dont eat a lot of commercially processed foods, but I do eat a lot of homemade salsa and pickles etc. and I like the salt shaker

Salt is definitely an acquired taste. I did not salt my food as a kid and now I salt a lot. I would have a harder time giving up salt than sugar.

rubidoux
08-22-2011, 03:11 AM
Kaplods, That's all very interesting about the water intoxication. When I used to do Atkins I worried about that a little because I was drinking tons and tons of water, but I figured you had to do something beyond that for it to be a problem. Now I'm happy I was eating a lot of salt, too. Maybe that saved me. And I totally agree about the unnatural foods we are assailed with. I do think some people do better with choosing/eating well than others, even when surrounded by unnatural/unhealthy foods. My seven year old is MUCH better at it than I am and he's also better at it than my 2 year old. He will often eat half a package of some yummy treat and say he's had enough. He's my hero!


The only time to worry about salt for most people is if you're planning on going on an ultra restrictive diet such as a PSMF in which case it is important to make sure you're getting enough sodium.

Wow, never heard of that PSMF before. I am wondering if my diet is actually more restrictive than that. I'm pretty sure I'm getting enough sodium, though. :carrot:

I don't add salt to food, but I definitely don't avoid it. I just have to watch because I get the worst cramps in my legs if I don't keep my salt up. It's an awful way to be woken up in the middle of the night :(

I had the most amazingly terrible toe cramp a few weeks ago! It lasted for like ten minutes. I actually changed my diet all around and I think I've solved the problem, but omg. I didn't realize it might be salt-related, though.

I have been reading about salt intake and the things I've read, mostly naturopathic, are that salt isn't the enemy. It's the imbalance between salt and potassium. Our diets today are high in salt and low in potassium, but if you get enough potassium to balance out sodium, water retention goes away and your adrenals begin to function normally again, where they will eliminate any salt your body doesn't need on their own. Now, I'm playing with this. I'm leaving my salt intake alone and increasing potassium to about 4500 mg per day. We'll see what happens, but salt is not the enemy it once was. I'm not saying follow this, I am simply sharing my experience and what I read. You should always follow your doctors advice though, or maybe see one again or a nutritionist.

My recent changes increased my potassium by about 1000 mg per day, but I don't know what I was getting before. Hmmmm... I may look into it.

Expunge
08-22-2011, 11:21 AM
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=its-time-to-end-the-war-on-salt

Here's a nice condensed article you might find interesting!

Personally, I don't watch my intake of table or sea salt - but I do try to avoid MSG (especially in soy sauce - I buy a Korean brand that's naturally brewed and MSG-free, unfortunately I have no idea what the name of the brand is because it doesn't have a speck of English on the bottle XD), as I find I react to MSG - and foods that contain MSG usually are junky anyway.

rubidoux
08-22-2011, 04:56 PM
Thanks, Expunge! I love their use of the phrase "evangelical anti-salt campaigns." :lol: And the article does make me feel a little more confident.

Beach Patrol
08-22-2011, 05:49 PM
Anything you consume that is "shelf stable" will have a good deal of sodium in it. Salt is a preservative, and found in pretty much everything that is frozen, canned, or otherwise found "on the shelf".

Table salt really isn't that bad. MOST people don't salt their food w/table salt enough for it to make a huge difference in their dietary needs. But in today's world, there's "convenience" that trumps almost everything else. Therefore, most people are not going to go slaughter their own cows or grow their own veggies/fruit & make their own breads.

Cutting sodium-laden foods has helped me a great deal. I try my very best to eat fresh foods first, frozen foods as a 2nd choice, and try to stay away from canned goods. But I still eat bread, and have grown to love the 100-Calorie pack of snack foods. Ai-yi-yi!

But I will NEVER give up my salt shaker on the table, unless I'm near death & the doctors can pry it from my knobby little hands. :D And I'm still losing weight. So I figure, I'm good to go.

Thighs Be Gone
08-22-2011, 05:52 PM
For me, it's the way it makes me feel. When I have had too much sodium I wake up with a dry mouth and swollen feeling toungue. Also, I hold water--like have puffy legs and face. Since I quit salting I have discovered that I like the way foods taste without it for the most part. I still MUST have salt on potatoes though.

TransformingMyself
08-22-2011, 06:07 PM
Salt is good and bad. Too much of it is a bad thing, which causes dehydration, increases blood pressure, diabetes, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Which my father has. When high blood pressure is not under controll, it can lead to stroke, heart attack or kidney disease. Our body needs salt to regulate it, too much water, make our blood increase. Which isn't good.

I limit my sodium daily intake to 1,400. There is 2,325 mg in ONE teaspoon. That is a lot! Average people eat more than that, in one day.

rubidoux
08-22-2011, 06:22 PM
Beach Patrol, What has cutting sodium-laden foods helped you with? I am totally with you on the table salt. :)

Thighs Be Gone, I am happy it doesn't make me feel that way. But I wonder if it makes you feel bad because you don't need it, kwim? And yes! Potatoes, I think, have some kind of negative salt value. :lol:

Salt is good and bad. Too much of it is a bad thing, which causes dehydration, increases blood pressure, diabetes, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Which my father has. When high blood pressure is not under controll, it can lead to stroke, heart attack or kidney disease. Our body needs salt to regulate it, too much water, make our blood increase. Which isn't good.

I limit my sodium daily intake to 1,400. There is 2,325 mg in ONE teaspoon. That is a lot! Average people eat more than that, in one day.

I guess I'm wondering, though, why you believe it's so bad and how you know it causes high blood pressure, diabetes (I don't think I have actually ever heard of that before) or heart disease. I know that's what people *say*, but where did it come from? Is there actually any hard evidence for it?

I seriously don't know if I could live on 1400 mg of sodium a day. Before I started my current woe, I think I was having at least the equivalent several teaspoons a day of salt. Are you happy with the way your food tastes that way? If you are then I say that's great. But I know that I would be very unhappy and it would be sad to feel that way if the line they've been feeding us all these years is total bunk, yk?

Gale02
08-22-2011, 06:40 PM
rubidoux - I agree with you. There is more research being done and salt is becoming much less of a villain. We seem to be absolutely determined to lay blame on a single food or nutrient (fat, carbs, salt, meat, fruit, etc.) instead of looking at the SAD as a whole. I personally (and this is JMO) don't believe you can necessarily narrow it down to only one culprit. Granted, certain ways of eating work for different people (absolutely not trying to bash low carb, low fat, etc.) but I think that to put us all in the same mold just causes problems (e.g. you must eat less than X mg of sodium per day or low carb or low fat or or or...) :)

nelie
08-22-2011, 06:43 PM
If you cut salt out of your diet, then your taste buds do adjust. I did a low salt diet for a while and whenever I'd eat out, foods would taste over salted. I ended up having issues with low blood pressure so I did add salt back to my diet. I don't eat a lot of it though.

TransformingMyself
08-22-2011, 07:33 PM
Beach Patrol, What has cutting sodium-laden foods helped you with? I am totally with you on the table salt. :)

Thighs Be Gone, I am happy it doesn't make me feel that way. But I wonder if it makes you feel bad because you don't need it, kwim? And yes! Potatoes, I think, have some kind of negative salt value. :lol:



I guess I'm wondering, though, why you believe it's so bad and how you know it causes high blood pressure, diabetes (I don't think I have actually ever heard of that before) or heart disease. I know that's what people *say*, but where did it come from? Is there actually any hard evidence for it?

I seriously don't know if I could live on 1400 mg of sodium a day. Before I started my current woe, I think I was having at least the equivalent several teaspoons a day of salt. Are you happy with the way your food tastes that way? If you are then I say that's great. But I know that I would be very unhappy and it would be sad to feel that way if the line they've been feeding us all these years is total bunk, yk?

My father was a salt lick. He couldn't go with out it. He has diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. He didn't get that by accident. After the dr diagnosed it, I did research, and I tried to help him eat healthier. Of course that didn't last very long. Everyone makes their choices, something they have to live with down the road. I wish you the best!

As far as 1,400 mg of sodium, I rarely come close to that. I eat all whole foods, whole grains, lean meat, veggies, fruit, herbs and spices. When you eat processed foods, boxed/canned/jar food, it is usually high in sodium to preserve it.

Just gave my opinion based on what my family has gone through. What we do now, dictates our future. In every aspect, even health.

Gale02
08-22-2011, 08:19 PM
My father was a salt lick. He couldn't go with out it. He has diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. He didn't get that by accident.



Not to nit pick, but I think it's really important to distinguish correlation from causation, especially when it comes to our health. Just because something is happening at the same time as another doesn't mean it was caused by it.

Larry H
08-23-2011, 01:13 AM
The Mayo Clinic says "Pass on the Salt: Most Americans Would Benefit from Lower Sodium Intake"

They go on to say that "a high sodium intake can increase the risk of stroke even without an increase in blood pressure."

http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2009-mchi/5494.html

The American Heart Association says "Too much sodium in the diet may also have other harmful health effects, including increased risk for stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease."

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp


Consumer Reports Health.Org reports that according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control "Consuming lots of sodium and not much potassium might increase your risk of an early death from any cause by about 50 percent, and nearly double your risk of death from a heart attack, according to a report this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine."

http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2011/07/too-much-sodium-too-little-potassium-linked-to-increased-risk-of-early-death.html

On a more personnal note, During the last week of July I ate a lot of salt in my foods. Non was added at the table I only ate only what was in the foods. My weight went up by 25 pounds in four (4) days I am now carefully tracking my sodium every day. My current daily sodium goal is 2000 mg. I am considering reducing this to 1500 mg which is more in line with recent recommendations from most major health organizations.

Larry,

rubidoux
08-23-2011, 05:22 AM
Well, Larry, I looked through several of those articles and blech! I sure hope they're not right. :( Most of all I wish that all of the scientific literature was consistent because right now it feels like a "he said, she said" sorta situation.

One of the articles you linked to claimed that salt caused all sorts of horrific things, including stomach cancer. So, since I had never heard that one before, I looked for the study claiming it, and I found it's abstract the Journal of Human Hypertension: http://www.nature.com/jhh/journal/v23/n6/abs/jhh2008144a.html They make it sounds like salt is pretty bad.

But how do I balance that against the scientific american article linked above where you find jems like this?:
"In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease." (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=its-time-to-end-the-war-on-salt)

I have actually been reading about salt for hours tonight, and I'm no closer to a resolution. I would say, though, that I am shocked to have found this July 2011 study that found that LOW salt diets INCREASE insulin resistance in healthy individuals. Ack! That's scary.
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21036373

TransformingMyself
08-23-2011, 08:40 AM
The Mayo Clinic says "Pass on the Salt: Most Americans Would Benefit from Lower Sodium Intake"

They go on to say that "a high sodium intake can increase the risk of stroke even without an increase in blood pressure."

http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2009-mchi/5494.html

The American Heart Association says "Too much sodium in the diet may also have other harmful health effects, including increased risk for stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease."

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp


Consumer Reports Health.Org reports that according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control "Consuming lots of sodium and not much potassium might increase your risk of an early death from any cause by about 50 percent, and nearly double your risk of death from a heart attack, according to a report this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine."

http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2011/07/too-much-sodium-too-little-potassium-linked-to-increased-risk-of-early-death.html

On a more personnal note, During the last week of July I ate a lot of salt in my foods. Non was added at the table I only ate only what was in the foods. My weight went up by 25 pounds in four (4) days I am now carefully tracking my sodium every day. My current daily sodium goal is 2000 mg. I am considering reducing this to 1500 mg which is more in line with recent recommendations from most major health organizations.

Larry,

Thanks for adding the links, Larry. :)

Beach Patrol
08-23-2011, 10:52 AM
Beach Patrol, What has cutting sodium-laden foods helped you with? I am totally with you on the table salt.

I haven't "cut them out" ... I have "cut them DOWN" - and it really has helped me with the puffiness & bloaty-ness. But that's not the reason I was cutting it - my main reason for doing so is simply health. I have done the same thing with sugar... not cut it OUT, but down (way down!) and I just feel better. My weight loss has stayed steadily on track, slow, but happening. The salt/sugar thing is really just because "I feel better" :D

TransformingMyself
08-23-2011, 11:13 AM
Are you happy with the way your food tastes that way? If you are then I say that's great. But I know that I would be very unhappy and it would be sad to feel that way if the line they've been feeding us all these years is total bunk, yk?

I forgot to answer your question. Yes, I am VERY happy with how my food tastes. It is so much better! I am sure one of the reasons I do not go off plan. Here are a few of my recipes:

Chicken fajitas - Chicken breast cooked with onion and green/red/yellow peppers, seasoned with cumin, chipotle, and homemade salsa (chopped red onion, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime, and pepper), filled in a corn torilla (that I cook in a pan with Pam), topped with guacamole (avocado, diced tomato, diced onion, squeeze lime, cilantro, and pepper), lettuce and sliced tomato. Awesome!

Breaded Tilapia - Dip the tilapia filet in egg, sprinkle chipotle powder on it, then dip it into panko crumbs. Put Pam on a pan with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, and fry on the stove. I am not a fish person, never ate it, knew it was something I should incorporate into my meals, and omgosh I can eat this every day. AWESOME!

Chicken Parmesan - Dip the chicken breast in egg, then into panko crumbs, place on a cookie sheet (that I spray with Pam), bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 22 mins. Top with a little mozz cheese, and tomato sauce (I make my own), then put back in the oven for 4 - 5 mins. As a side I usually make a caesar salad (mixture of romain and spinach lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, boiled egg (crumbled), turkey bacon (chopped up), with caesar dressing.

Turkey burger - grilled turkey burger on 100% whole wheat bun (grilled too), topped with avocado slices, turkey bacon, lettuce, and tomato! I hated turkey burgers, when I made it this way, omgosh I was in heaven. Awesome flavors and texture.

Eating low sodium/sugar doesn't mean you are eating plain food, like grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. I love experimenting with food, and trying new things. :)

QuilterInVA
08-23-2011, 11:22 AM
Salt is not the enemy it once was - it's even worse. I take it most of you are younger so you haven't seen the damage yet but it will come. The RDA for sodium was lowered to 1,500 mcg. Why do you suppose that was...government mad at the salt producers?

Larry H
08-23-2011, 01:49 PM
Well, Larry, I looked through several of those articles and blech! I sure hope they're not right. :( Most of all I wish that all of the scientific literature was consistent because right now it feels like a "he said, she said" sorta situation.

One of the articles you linked to claimed that salt caused all sorts of horrific things, including stomach cancer. So, since I had never heard that one before, I looked for the study claiming it, and I found it's abstract the Journal of Human Hypertension: http://www.nature.com/jhh/journal/v23/n6/abs/jhh2008144a.html They make it sounds like salt is pretty bad.

But how do I balance that against the scientific american article linked above where you find jems like this?:
"In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease." (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=its-time-to-end-the-war-on-salt)

I have actually been reading about salt for hours tonight, and I'm no closer to a resolution. I would say, though, that I am shocked to have found this July 2011 study that found that LOW salt diets INCREASE insulin resistance in healthy individuals. Ack! That's scary.
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21036373

My research indicates that with sodium, balance is very important! Too little sodium and you risk serious health problems, too much sodium and you risk serious health problems. This includes a possibility of death from too little sodium as well as a possibility of death from too much sodium.

What is a person to do? For me I am tracking my input and keeping it to 2000 mg or less daily although I most likely will change to 1500 as my goal shortly.

For most of my 67 year life I ignored sodium and used salt freely. I loved the taste of it and I used to joke that the only reason I ate popcorn was for the salt. This April everything changed when I needed a double coronary artery bypass operation. Was salt partly to blame? I do not know but I do know that it could be and now when I have too much sodium I rapidly get the symptoms of heart failure. My cardiologist assures my that I do not have heart failure now but the fluid build up from sodium could cause it. He also says that if I cross the line and get heart failure it will be permanent.

I am enjoying life too much to play games with salt. What if the Mayo Clinic, the American Heart Association and so many more are right. Lets just say I am not willing to gamble when the stakes are this high.

Larry,

rubidoux
08-23-2011, 03:06 PM
I haven't "cut them out" ... I have "cut them DOWN" - and it really has helped me with the puffiness & bloaty-ness. But that's not the reason I was cutting it - my main reason for doing so is simply health. I have done the same thing with sugar... not cut it OUT, but down (way down!) and I just feel better. My weight loss has stayed steadily on track, slow, but happening. The salt/sugar thing is really just because "I feel better" :D

If you feel better, I think that's a great reason to do it!

I forgot to answer your question. Yes, I am VERY happy with how my food tastes. It is so much better!

Eating low sodium/sugar doesn't mean you are eating plain food, like grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. I love experimenting with food, and trying new things. :)

Your recipes sound great, but I'm afraid I wouldn't like them without a big dose of salt. That's a nice thing about salt, though, is I can just put some on my own. I never salt anything my family eats, just pass them the salt shaker if they want it.

I hope your dad is doing okay. That sounds like a hard road. :hug:

Salt is not the enemy it once was - it's even worse. I take it most of you are younger so you haven't seen the damage yet but it will come. The RDA for sodium was lowered to 1,500 mcg. Why do you suppose that was...government mad at the salt producers?

This is one thing I wonder about... The anti-salt people seem to be claiming that salt damages you over a lifetime, but then they also make it sound like lowering your salt will instantly take care of the problem. If so, why not wait till I've got high blood pressure?

Also, I'm not sure who is mad at who, or if anyone is. But I assume these are all the same people who said that we should all be on super low fat diets in the 70s. And, in fact, I did see something in reference to a 1977 senate committee that made recommendations to lower salt intake, and that is the same year the fat stuff really got going. I have to say, if this all started with those anti-fat people, that is a big red flag that it's all a bunch of hooey.


What is a person to do? For me I am tracking my input and keeping it to 2000 mg or less daily although I most likely will change to 1500 as my goal shortly.

For most of my 67 year life I ignored sodium and used salt freely. I loved the taste of it and I used to joke that the only reason I ate popcorn was for the salt. This April everything changed when I needed a double coronary artery bypass operation. Was salt partly to blame? I do not know but I do know that it could be and now when I have too much sodium I rapidly get the symptoms of heart failure. My cardiologist assures my that I do not have heart failure now but the fluid build up from sodium could cause it. He also says that if I cross the line and get heart failure it will be permanent.

I am enjoying life too much to play games with salt. What if the Mayo Clinic, the American Heart Association and so many more are right. Lets just say I am not willing to gamble when the stakes are this high.

Larry,

I can understand that. I think I would lower salt in your situation, too, even if I still had my current misgivings. I hope it helps, or if it doesn't that your other changes take care of the problem. Seems like you're being very pro-active!

ETA: Larry, I keep meaning to say that my great-grandmother lived in Brooksville when I was a kid and I have fond memories of it. :)

TransformingMyself
08-23-2011, 03:18 PM
Your recipes sound great, but I'm afraid I wouldn't like them without a big dose of salt. That's a nice thing about salt, though, is I can just put some on my own. I never salt anything my family eats, just pass them the salt shaker if they want it.

I hope your dad is doing okay. That sounds like a hard road. :hug:

Thank you. :) He is living with it now, and it is sad. Nothing can be done, he has to watch his sodium now, when he is bad, he blows up, literally gaining 20 plus pounds of water weight, then ends up in the hospital, sometimes for 5 day....2 weeks, all depends on how long he was doing bad things until he went into the ER. He still hasn't learned, which is sad. Like I mentioned earlier. What we do now will catch up with us later. If we take care of our bodies while we are young, we will be in better shape as we get older. That is my plan. I want to live life to the fullest. I wish you the best!

@ Larry, Thanks for all of your great posts! I hope you are doing well. Great job on turning your lifestyle around. :)