Salt - And Its Tasteless Side Effects



As a fan of the carnivore diet and lifestyle, I've noticed many advocates and MDs always recommend the use of a good sea salt. When it comes to the terms of flavoring our food, it is usually recommended that many spices are generally best avoided on the carnivore diet. These include the seed spices of black and white pepper, coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, mustard, cinnamon, and caraway. Other spices called herbs made from plant leaves include oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, dill, sage, and mint are also recommended to be avoided.


For some reason when people are transitioning to the carnivore diet, doctors and advocates of this lifestyle suggest it is important to keep an eye on our salt intake and that most people feel the best when they're getting 6 to 10 g of salt per day. They may suggest this has to do with our electrolyte balance because during the 8 to 12 week period of keto adaption, it has been observed that our needs for sodium appear to increase significantly as insulin levels drop sharply.


The doctors & advocates usually tell the story where rock salt was treasured and used as a form of payment from which the term "salary" is derived. I'm sure this may be true but I'm not sure how this correlates to heavy intakes of sodium chloride for health and well-being. Perhaps salary does pertain to salt , more so, with the understanding of one's yearly revenue from the SALE of salt. But why sell it? My idea is that this was the most effective method needed for food preservation, and when it was time to cook the excess sodium chloride would be washed away with fresh water.


So do we need 6 - 10 grams of salt per day, or, is this a bit of excess?




In my last blog, Celery Juice - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly I came across information on the AHA (American Heart Association) which suggest we are consuming too much salt and that we should instead be limiting our intake ideally to 1,500 milligrams a day. That's literally about 8 grams less than what some of these carnivore doctors and advocates are suggesting.

Further the AHA proclaims that Americans are sucking down more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day on average. That's astonishing!





So I decided to research the Redmond company and check out their Real Salt Analysis to see what are the levels of minerals this product the company provides. It states a serving size is 1/4 teaspoon or 1.4 grams.

From what can be observed aside from Sodium and Chloride being the two greatest amounts, all other minerals are just relativly small trace amounts. So with the addition of these minerals it makes sense why so many love the flavor compared to white table salt. In a sense there's more body of flavor due to the presence of the other minerals.


However, I am not convinced that these other trace amounts provide any benefit to our health since the ratio of sodium and chloride to the other minerals are so much greater in comparison.

Just because there is some good and a lot of bad, it doesn't mean that substance is going to be beneficial.


 

So which electrolytes does the body need for proper nerve and muscle function, maintaining acid-base balance and keeping us hydrated?


Here is a list:

  • Sodium

  • Potassium

  • Chloride

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphate

  • Bicarbonate

As I research further, the AHA proclaims;

"The body needs only a small amount of sodium (less than 500 milligrams per day) to function properly... Insufficient sodium intake isn’t a public health problem in the United States."

So which minerals are we really deficient in or which minerals should we focus our attention on when supplementing during exercise?


For Calcium:

According to The World Health Organization's recommendation is 500 mg. The United Kingdom sets the goal at 700 mg. - Harvard Health Publishing


For Chloride:

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division determines that adults need about 2 grams of Chloride daily. According to the Institute of Medicine, the tolerable upper intake for chloride is 3.6 grams per day for adults, known not to cause any adverse effects. Consuming too much chloride can increase blood pressure.


For Phosphate: According to WebMD how much phosphorus we need depends on our age. They suggest 700 mg.


For Sodium Bicarbonate:

According to WebMD how much sodium bicarbonate we need depends on our age. The FDA suggests a maximum daily dosage of 200 mEq (milliequivalent) bicarbonate in people up to 60 years old.


For Potassium:

According to NIH ( National Institute Of Health ) men aged 20+ should consume 3,400 mg and women 20+ should consume 2,600 mg. They also suggest that the body absorbs about 85%–90% of dietary potassium. For Magnesium:

According to Healthline the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium for adults is 310–420 mg depending on age and gender. They also state low magnesium intake is relatively common.

 

So, out of all the minerals here, Potassium is needed the most in abundance compared to all the electrolytes for a proper functioning body. Is a deficiency common here within the US? Unfortunately, most adults don’t consume enough potassium. Many medical sources are suggesting most adults need to consume 3.4 - 4.7 grams of potassium for optimal health along with a good dose of magnesium. And as always they do not recommend one supplement these minerals, instead it's best to get it from food.

 

To my observation pouring salt on all our food has actually caused us to have imbalances in these minerals and a further straining of our kidneys and mineral reserves. It is my opinion high sodium chloride intake is silently killing us due to its overconsumption on a frequent basis. The salt companies, blog posts, and health advocates, who are selling this information to the blind; I would like to think are ignorant themselves.

But I do not believe after this research that Sodium Chloride is entirely to blame, although it does play a huge role in high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke here in the US.

I found diuretics like coffee & teas, are majorly responsible for removing these important minerals from our bodies as well. And if done in frequency (daily, yearly) our bodies will compensate the imbalances by pulling these minerals out from our bones!


Further most of the people who post on the Carnivore Aurelius Facebook page are consuming so much salt and still are having adverse side effects such as tiredness and cramping of the legs. Many of the members in the group, who act more as a support system for others transitioning into this primal lifestyle, will usually suggest the remedy to be more salt.


I feel much of this is ignorance along with too much trust, because of hope, yet not enough research upon their own part is done. So I fear many will suffer long term although they may reap positive effects in the short term.

 

To conclude this posting.

In my opinion, I am now convinced a clean healthy diet is the addition of no seasoning or supplement into our bodies. We must be smart. We must go back to the ways it were before ALL this comfort. We must become comfortable with the uncomfortable. We must do what is natural in nature and not that which caters to our tastebuds. On my journey through the carnivore lifestyle, I am learning everyday better ways to improve and implement a better strategy toward my own health. Hopefully my discoveries on this path open new doors for others and they too use these keys to unlock something within themselves.


Good Luck 👍 🍀!





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