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To salt, or not to salt. That is the...

by (176)
Updated about 16 hours ago
Created February 12, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Do you include/exclude salt from your WOE? Have you just changed to Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt? If you exclude, do you eat any preserved meats...bacon, ham (which are preserved with a brine and then smoked)?

Medium avatar
294 · January 06, 2012 at 6:51 AM

I think the French salt you mean is "sel de Guérande". http://www.seldeguerande.fr/index.php - Tastes great and it's not expensive—in France :)

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176 · February 14, 2010 at 1:57 AM

Hmmm. I didn't realize that about the potassium/sodium ratios. Very interesting but my question was stemming more from an evolutionary perspective. I've run across people who feel that salt should be excluded in its entirety as an acceptable part of Paleo eating. What I understand about this is that mining salt is a neolithic activity but I wonder about paleo coastal communities getting their sodium from the seafood they'd be ingesting. For the record, I haven't used table salt for a long time and prefer Himalayan.

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8 Answers

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1523 · February 13, 2010 at 5:37 AM

If most people are getting too much sodium it is less what they add than what is built into the processed foods that they eat. People on more paleo or raw diets skip avoid the additives, inlcuding salt, that are such a major part of the food that most people eat. So that way I see it, if you are eating a fairly paleo diet, there shouldn't be much need to limit salt ... unless your body is already damaged.

Mike above raises an interesting point about the effect of carbs on blood pressure.

Most people are also chronically short of potassium in their diets. The human body needs both sodium and potassium in order to pumps fluids effectively. Modern processed foods are not only high in sodium, but they are low in potassium so the balance in most people's bodies is way off. Hmmm, sounds just like omegas, doesn't it? A number of foods that people like us eat have a decent amount of potassium, so coupled with the lower amount of sodium in our food we get a better sodium to potassium ratio in our diet.

So the way I see it, ditching processed foods and reducing carbs reduces blood pressure in at least three ways. I bet there are more. If hypertension is at the root of your question, I hope this helps.

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745 · February 13, 2010 at 12:05 AM

I use RealSalt, and in the past I've used a really, really good coarse grey French salt, but I don't remember the brand.

I never worry about salt/sodium, for a couple of reasons: 1) Athletes need salt 2) Sodium has little, if anything, to do with hypertension. Excessive carb intake --->hyperinsulinemia--->elevated aldosterone has more to do with it. 3) When supplementing with creatine monohydrate, the creaT transporters are sodium dependent.

1 and #3 may not apply to everyone here, but why #2 evades conventional medical wisdom is beyond me.

Medium avatar
294 · January 06, 2012 at 6:51 AM

I think the French salt you mean is "sel de Guérande". http://www.seldeguerande.fr/index.php - Tastes great and it's not expensive—in France :)

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349 · February 12, 2010 at 9:16 PM

I do add some salt to my food. I've continued adding salt for 2 reasons:

1.) Added salt has not had a significant impact on my weight loss thus far (30 LBS in 44 days)

-and-

2.) In the beginning the "little things" help you to maintain your sanity and allows you to remain more firmly committed to the plan.

I understand that salt can have an impact on your body's acid/base ratio, and that for long-term health and well-being it's best to minimize your intake, but if you're severely overweight and you've failed in the past due to food cravings it's best to do as much as you can to enjoy the food you're "limited" to.

Other spices and cooking techniques can help but sometimes salt is where it at.

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2041 · February 14, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Use regular iodized salt if you are not supplementing iodine in some other significant way. Otherwise use whatever you want, as long as you are getting adequate amounts of the other three major electrolytes (K, Mg, Ca). I used to get headaches after eating salty food before I started taking daily magnesium supps.

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1595 · February 13, 2010 at 2:43 AM

I use a mixture of salts (kosher, sea, and regular iodized), and I eat preserved meats often. I find I get thirsty if I've had "a lot" of salt. In which case I drink water. It's a good system and it works for me.

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5 · February 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I agree that sea or rock salts are better than regular salts but sea salt is worse. Think of it this way, fish are advised on the basis of the toxins they accumulate commonly, and the longer a fish lives, the more toxins it accumulates. And sea salt is so old that it's not even comparable to fish lives, so sea salt has too much sea toxins inside. Himalayan rock salt that isn't pink due to excess iron or other rock salts are the options I prefer.

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0 · February 26, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Salt is yummy! While most of the low sodium stuff that is so popular is unfounded, some people are actually sensitive to salt. I heard of a good way to test yourself. Go low sodium for a few days and then check your heart rate. Then, eat a bunch of salt and check your heart rate again 30 minutes later. If it is substantially higher, you are probably salt sensitive. If you don't react, thank God and pass the salt! It's actually good for you.

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183 · February 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I use Celtic Sea Salt, when necessary, and never use table salt. However, when cooking I add salt only after tasting the other spicing. I know it's good to let Celtic Sea Salt "cook," but I find 9/10 times that I don't need any salt after spicing up the food, and that salt-addition is generally just a habit.

I don't exclude salt from the other foods I eat. (i.e. pick low-or-no sodium foods).

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