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Sodium Questions

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Updated about 9 hours ago
Created May 06, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I've been paleo on and off for the last year or so, but have really committed to sticking with it long term for the past few months. Generally I feel great, and have a constant level of energy throughout the day. I'm avoiding dairy and most sugary fruits, but I do eat bananas on days that I work out. I also try not to add salt to my food, to correct the desensitization of my tongue to salty flavors.

Recently I've been eating one large avocado per day, along with my regular meals. I've noticed a drop off in my energy when I work out in that same time period. For example, over the weekend I went for what I had hoped to be a long hike, but had to turn back after two miles because of weakness in my legs and the inability to catch my breath. Now, it was a strenuous hike with about 1,000 ft of elevation gain over less than a mile, but that is unusual for me to feel that fatigued. I felt like I had no muscles at all in my legs.

And today, while walking home for lunch, I noticed that I felt very weak and dizzy. I drank some commercial high-sodium beef broth (terrible, I know) and immediately felt better.

So, my questions are these: Am I throwing off my potassium-sodium balance by eating all of these avocados and bananas and not adding salt to my meals? If so, how can I increase my sodium intake without smothering everything with salt or resorting to something as awful as bouillon cubes?

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41422 · May 07, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Taste tests are nonsense.

Medium avatar
598 · May 07, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Do you have an extensive history of over-consuming salty snacks? It's possible that you're suffering from some sort of sodium withdrawal, in which case adding significant amounts of salt back into your diet and then slowly weaning it down to ideal levels may be advisable, though I'm pulling this one out of my arse and have nothing to base it on but intuition. Also, "ideal levels" are highly debatable and may depend on numerous factors. Consider this thread I started out of my own confusion on the topic....

378bf9e0f5237950adb36472973cda87
0 · May 07, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Well, I did that and had to stop myself from trying to eat my palm--so I guess that's telling.

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598 · May 06, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Get some quality salt, put a dash in your Palm, and lick. It will taste bad if you're well salted and good if you're deficient, assuming your natural sodium impulse has been properly restored. I think I read this in the Perfect Health Diet book. It may have been elsewhere. It worked for me as verified by nutrient tracking but I suppose it's possible your senses could be severely damaged if you've spent decades munching salty snacks.

If you're not eating salty snack foods it's fairly safe to add a dash of salt (or "salt to taste") as culinarily appropriate.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41422 · May 07, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Taste tests are nonsense.

378bf9e0f5237950adb36472973cda87
0 · May 07, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Well, I did that and had to stop myself from trying to eat my palm--so I guess that's telling.

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