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Old 04-24-2013, 03:11 PM   #1
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SALT...is it really that bad?

I have always heard that you should restrict sodium for health reasons. From swelling, high blood pressure to heart disease...salt seems to be blamed. Then, I hear about my JB's actually drinking salt water and adding extra salt here and there. I have never really tried to restrict either, but sometimes get comments from other people, like today when I was salting my raw carrots at lunch...."Stop using all that salt!" She has also commented on other DDs when I salted my celery.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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It just depends...i'm somewhat salt sensitive because I'm 52 and have had essential hypertension most of my life, so my kidneys don't work as well as they should when it comes to tossing out excess sodium. i bloat like a toad when i have too much salt.

If salt doesn't make you retain fluid, don't worry about a reasonable amount of salt...life is too short to eat bland food.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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its a case by case basis type thing. People with heart conditions, kidney, and stuff who are on meds need to restrict because added water is very bad on an already taxed organ.

However those who drink alot of water (like in low carbers who drink a gallon a day or athletes who sweat alot) needs to replenish what they pee/sweat which is sodium, potassium and magnesium. Which is pretty much what is in an IV bag!
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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What Granny said! Personally, I don't worry about it, am not sensitive to it.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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And what Katiebubb said too!
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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apparently, or I have read in the more scientific discussions of nutrition, people who eat a lot of carbs tend to retain sodium, so they can get too much pretty easily.

low carbing changes that as it changes most of the rest of your metabolism, and the kidneys start excreting sodium like mad. so someone can easily get sodium deficient.

I think many people probably do that on JUDDD even if they are not intentionally low carbing, but it's probably a case by case thing.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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if you don't get high blood pressure from it, it's just fine. that's the main issue with sodium, as high bp can cause other (serious) issues. it's one of those partial nuggets of info that people just recite without really knowing why. I've been known to nibble boullion cubes and sip soy sauce....sounds gross, I know.....but no bp issues at all, so my doc said don't worry about it and enjoy.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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There's been a lot of information lately actually refuting the initial studies where they determined salt was bad for you (you meaning the general population who don't have specific medical reasons for avoiding sodium). I've never restricted salt, and I have low blood pressure and rarely retain water. I salt EVERYTHING.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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I have low BP and need salt or I get very dizzy.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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I told her, "I need this salt because I go to the bathroom so much on DDs, I lose a lot of water". She said, "Oh, so you don't eat like that every day." She was eating a Lean Cuisine which has about 5x more sodium that the salt I put on my carrots lol. Not that I don't eat them too (LC's), but people are terribly afraid of table salt and maybe, misinformed.

Last edited by Librarygirl; 04-24-2013 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
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I would say "misinformed" and "the American people" are synonymous....
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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Have you read this article?
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/op...bout-salt.html

If you don't use it already, I would suggest that all salt you add to food be unrefined sea salt,
or Himalayan salt, or something like that.

(PS: I don't use any white, "Morton's" type salt except for cleaning or craft projects. )

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Old 04-24-2013, 05:20 PM   #13
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Have you read this article?
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/op...bout-salt.html

If you don't use it already, I would suggest that all salt you add to food be unrefined sea salt,
or Himalayan salt, or something like that.

(PS: I don't use any white, "Morton's" type salt except for cleaning or craft projects. )
I have switch totally to pink Himalayan salt. I love it.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #14
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Celtic Sea Salt is supposed to be really good, but I recoiled when I saw the price at the store. Pink Himalayan and some of the other fancy salts Whole Foods carries.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #15
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I use sea salt. Never white table salt for anything.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #16
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PJ - I'm glad you chimed in!
I salt the heck outta everything. I eat salt plain. My son now eats salt plain. I have ridiculously low blood pressure (ie - new doctors usually take it 2-3 times because they can't fathom how I could be upright with such a low BP). I love broth, drink it all the time, soy sauce is my friend and I've been known to eat bullion cubes as well.
As a general health statement, saying salt is bad is, IMHO, ridiculous. You could tell your co-worker to MYOB
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:47 AM   #17
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But don't encourage her.... I am surprised she didn't tell her that already.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:25 AM   #18
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It's coming. This particular lady and her husband cut way back on salt and sugar a couple of years ago, so she's really attune to what other's are doing with it lol. However, she has been extremely supportive of my diet and very complimentary of my weight loss. I guess I can give her a pass.

ETA: The health benefits of sea salt or any mineral salt over table salt have never been proven. By weight, each contain the same amount of sodium. Table salt is more processed but also contains iodine, of course. It really just comes down to taste preference (and cost).
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:38 AM   #19
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I hope this is not a hack, but nobody ever mentions diuretics to get rid of bloat?
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
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It's coming. This particular lady and her husband cut way back on salt and sugar a couple of years ago, so she's really attune to what other's are doing with it lol. However, she has been extremely supportive of my diet and very complimentary of my weight loss. I guess I can give her a pass.

ETA: The health benefits of sea salt or any mineral salt over table salt have never been proven. By weight, each contain the same amount of sodium. Table salt is more processed but also contains iodine, of course. It really just comes down to taste preference (and cost).
Dr. Mercola had a blog article on that a while back. I am too lazy to look it up. He suggests eliminating the refined white salt. I can drink sea salt in my water with no problems. Can't the refined white table salt. Each person reacts differently to salt apparently.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:45 AM   #21
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mama- we've discussed diuretics a lot...I know because I asked a lot of the questions! Oddly, a few (6?) months ago I cut waaaaay back on my sodium intake (though it's still much higher than the "recommended" amount), and now I retain water like CRAZY. I never ever did before I cut back on the sodium. Go figure.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:21 AM   #22
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I think it is a YMMV type thing. For me, I need around 3,000 - 4,000 mg of sodium a day. If I drop below that for more than a day or so I get so dizzy when I stand up I get nauseous and feel like I'm going to pass out. I also get terrible headaches and am just exhausted. Not sure, but it might be related to my BP, which is normally rather low (90/60 when it is high), and without the sodium it might dip too low. I don't know how everything works together, just that my body functions best with a bunch of sodium.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:42 AM   #23
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I have low BP and need salt or I get very dizzy.
I'm like Carly. Mine is SUPER LOW. When my gall bladder was going bad in 2003, I was in the ER for the pain. The nurse (he happened to be male and he was heavy) took my BP 5 times. I finally was like, tell me, is there a problem??? He said, Oh, sorry, no. Your blood pressure is fine....FOR someone in a COMA! He told me for the pain I was in, he was shocked how low it was. I had to laugh!
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:05 AM   #24
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ETA: The health benefits of sea salt or any mineral salt over table salt have never been proven. By weight, each contain the same amount of sodium. Table salt is more processed but also contains iodine, of course. It really just comes down to taste preference (and cost).
Maybe I'm too much of a hippie, but I just can't bring myself to believe that table salt has the same benefits as unrefined salt!

Health benefits may not have been "proven", but anecdotally, many people seem to experience more water retention & other problems on "table salt" that they do not experience with unrefined salt. Just an FYI in case anyone is considering increasing their salt intake.

I've read that one of the reasons is that white salt is dried at extremely high heat; this changes the chemical bond and makes it more difficult for our bodies to use and eliminate it. IDK if this is true--I'm not a scientist! But if it *is* true, we're at least missing out on the full benefits of salt, and it's possibly also causing damage or stress to our organs!

(Unrefined salt is left behind through the process of evaporation so it doesn't get heated as drastically.)

Some of the food I buy (canned beans, sauces, crackers & chips) has "white" salt in it--I don't avoid that.
But, except for tamari and a "seasoned salt" which I use occasionally, the only salt I cook with is Redmond RealSalt. It's pretty affordable ($5-6 on sale for 26oz), and lasts us quite a while even though we use salt liberally.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #25
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I hope this is not a hack, but nobody ever mentions diuretics to get rid of bloat?
I retain water very easily, but taking potassium & magnesium every day helps a lot. I take extra if I have something really salty like Chinese food.

I also have diabetes, and it was undiagnosed for at least a couple years. When I started taking medication (metformin), my tendency to retain water because much less pronounced. I can still gain a few pounds overnight , but my feet and hands used to swell up and itch and drive me crazy...now I guess I just get a little puffy all over! So...severe water retention might have something to do with carbohydrates, as well as electrolytes.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #26
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The other problem with diuretics to get rid of bloat is that, depending on how they work, diuretics can exacerbate electrolyte derangement. So unless you have a medical reason to be on them and your levels are being monitored (ie - on furosemide [Lasix] for a heart condition) you're likely to simply re-bloat without addressing the underlying problem. And if you're using a potassium-wasting duiretic (like furosemide and many of the "natural" diuretics) you're actually going to cause further derangement because you'll dump a ton of potassium along with that water. Then your body will attempt to balance the loss of intracellular potassium by moving both sodium and hydrogen around and, while most healthy people can handle that, it can cause major issues if you have borderline kidney, heart or Diabetes problems - further water retention, acidic blood, too high blood sodium (which can lead to brain swelling). Yes those are worst-case scenarios but they are very real physiologic possibilities so why risk it when a little more (or less) salt or water might solve the problem.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:14 PM   #27
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Yennie--not trying to pry here, so please disregard this question if you choose.....surely you must be a doctor? Your responses to a lot of the health questions show you really know your stuff!
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:17 PM   #28
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I was wondering too! Yennie, our resident expert.

ETA: I believe Yennie said she is a vet. Same thing.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:03 PM   #29
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Yennie--not trying to pry here, so please disregard this question if you choose.....surely you must be a doctor? Your responses to a lot of the health questions show you really know your stuff!
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I was wondering too! Yennie, our resident expert.

ETA: I believe Yennie said she is a vet. Same thing.
That's right, we are real doctors too!!

Yes, I am a vet. In addition, however, I'm also the kid that could not stop going to school. So after vet school, I did an internship, then a residency in internal medicine. I'm now boarded in internal medicine (which entails a lot of studying physiology - hence why I know nutso stuff like above). Part of the residency requirements led to a research-based Master's Degree in Immunology. Then I decided to do a post-doc/pseudo PhD program in a human program, there we did some immunology, some diabetes, some physiology, some other random assorted stuff. Then I got pregnant and chose not to jump through the hoops to finish my already non-traditional route to my PhD, left the academic lifestyle and work part time with my dad in his private veterinary practice. As my mom said, I'm FINALLY done with school!!!!

I would say, however, some of the things all this taught me is that 1) s/he who graduates last in the class is still called "doctor" and 2) don't believe everything you read/see. Interpreting scientific studies can be tough even when the write up is straightforward and not trying to be tricky or show something the results dont show. Also, true science moves slowly so many of the extrapolations are just that - best guesses on how things will work in people based on some mouse studies. Not saying thats bad but just be ware.

I'm kinda jaded on the scientific community as a whole, I am a huge skeptic to everything now whereas 5-10 years ago, I was firmly entrenched in the "ivory tower" and thought if its published it must be gospel and heaven forbid anyone QUESTION anything! Funny how stepping outside the system and getting a good dose of real life changes one's perspective.

Ok, sorry - that totally went a direction I didn't intent. But I typed it so there it is.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:49 PM   #30
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I switched to Himalayan because of the variety of so many minerals we might not get otherwise. It has a good reputation, for instance, for providing the chloride for our bodies to make hydrochloric acid for digestion, which seems to have a positive effect keeping away acid reflux.

Yet, to be honest, I probably get more sodium from other sources - possibly prepared foods or restaurant foods, which, even though I may not eat them as often as I eat at home, are more highly salted than my own cooking.

I do keep track of sodium on my online calculator, right there beside the sugar, fiber, calories, etc.

Frankly, as my sodium tracks up on a certain day, there also goes my scale weight the next morning. It's a given. However, I am sure this correlates with how much white flour may have been in prepared/restaurant foods as well. So, no, I can't point at "salt" and say that's some kind of villain, necessarily.

By the way, my bp is always good, even though I'm a person who bloats, definitely.
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