Salt: Why Everyone Says You Are Getting Too Much, Why They Are Wrong, and How a Lack of It Can Greatly Impact Your Health

Salt: Why Everyone Says You Are Getting Too Much, Why They Are Wrong, and How a Lack of It Can Greatly Impact Your Health

You are not getting enough pure salt in your diet.

Yeah, you read that right.

How can that be? The medical establishment, the government, and the media tell me that a diet high in sodium is the blame for a lot of heart health issues: high blood pressure, heart disease, and worsening heart failure. 1 2

When you have high blood pressure, what does your doctor tell you? “Cut out the salt.” Instead, they should have told you to cut out the trans fat, 3 PUFA, 4 or excessive sugar 5 that comprises a lot of the SAD. No, instead they tell you to reduce your salt intake.

Reduce your salt intake if you want to die from heart disease quicker. 6 7 8

Does Elevated Salt Intake Cause Heart Disease?

Many doctors believe that sodium causes high blood pressure, but most studies have shown it does not. Being overweight, 9 diabetic, 10 poor mitochondrial / redox potential, 11 poor omega three / magnesium intake, 12 smoking, 13 systemic inflammation, 14 and leaky gut 15 are the many causes of high blood pressure however, not sodium intake.

A Cochraine review of 6,257 individuals from a large meta-study in 2011 concluded that: 16

“We found no strong evidence that salt reduction reduced all-cause mortality or CVD morbidity in normotensives or hypertensives.” 17

The same study mentioned of the heart failure paradox when it relates to low sodium diets. Studies done on low sodium diets and heart failure patients have had issues. One study had to be stopped because more people were dying from heart failure in the low sodium group, than those who consumed normal or elevated amounts of sodium. If you have heart failure, the DASH diet that restricts sodium is probably one of the worst diets to be on. 18

The study drives the final nail in the anti-salt coffin. The study claims that the reason we saw a reduction of cardiovascular events in those that reduced salt in a main pro salt reduction study (Francesco P Cappuccio’s WAR ON SALT) was not from the reduction of salt at all. The reduction in blood pressure and cardiovascular events came from lifestyle changes that were made, and those were the reason their health improved:

“People who choose a lower-salt diet are likely to also eat a diet of fresh foods, lower in fats and refined carbohydrate, take more exercise and be less likely to smoke, so their lower levels of deaths and disease may not relate to salt intake at all.” 19

The Cochraine Review also determines that salt reduction only reduces blood pressure by the error of a blood pressure cuff:

“End of trial systolic and diastolic BPs were reduced by an average of some 1mm Hg in normotensives and by an average of 2–4mm Hg in hypertensives and those with heart failure.” 20

There were limitations in this study; they give you most of the truth peppered in with some conventional rhetoric. Common with most academia, cannot deviate from the norm.

The study states:

“Sustained long- term reductions in BP of 1 and 4mm Hg would be predicted to reduce CVD mortality by 5% and 20%, respectively.” 21

No mention of a reduction in systolic or diastolic for the above claim. The reference the study that was talking about diastolic blood pressure specifically. The results of that 1990 study:

“Prolonged differences in usual DBP of 5,7·5, and 10 mm Hg were respectively associated with at least 34%, 46%, and 56% less stroke and at least 21%. 29%, and 37% less CHD.” 22

Well the math does not quite add up does it?

The meta-study finally sells out:

“Our findings are consistent with the belief that salt reduction is beneficial in normotensive and hypertensive people.” 23

Contradictory to everything stated at the top of the discussion and the data, eh?

What is Salt and Why Do We Need It?

Salt is a chemical compound comprised of mostly sodium chloride and trace minerals. Human beings need sodium and chloride in thousands of biochemical reactions. We need sodium to regulate blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium, and electrochemistry. Sodium is one of our primary electrolytes and is essential for health. 24 25

Everyone knows about sodium, but chloride is an important forgotten essential mineral. Chloride is important negatively charged ion in the blood and is one of the main electrolytes in the body. It is used by the body to produce hydrochloric acid (stomach acid,) when it bonds with hydrogen produced by the hydrogen pump in our stomach cells. Chloride is also used to maintain pH to keep microbes at bay. It also is a regulator of blood volume and serves as an electron donor for many reactions within the body. 26 27

Chloride and sodium work in tandem together to accomplish a lot of the same actions within the body. It would appear based on this information that proper pure salt intake would be important for good health. 28 29

Natural salt contains a lot of primary minerals and trace minerals that are lacking in our modern diets. Primary minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Trace minerals include zinc, selenium, iodine, molybdenum, chromium, cobalt, and others. 30 31

Who Might Need to Limit Their Salt Intake

People with advanced kidney disease. Then again if you have advanced kidney disease, you should limit some excess electrolytes and minerals. Your sodium intake should be only from what is found naturally in foods and what little you can use of natural salt to meet your sodium restriction recommendations and not from processed foods. 32

The Junk In Stores They Call Salt and Why It Is Bad For You

Not all salt is equal.

Most of the consumer grade salt preparations include harmful fillers. Standard salt is stripped of its trace minerals, some products are bleached, and a bunch of poor additives are added to improve the salts “flow.” 33

The additives can range from harmless to cringe-worthy. They include:

Potassium iodide – gives the body iodine that is needed by the body, harmless for most people. You may need to supplement with iodine like Detoxadine if you use natural salt that does not add iodine to the product, and you do not ingest enough iodine from food. 34

Magnesium carbonate – magnesium is a beneficial nutrient, but it might reduce stomach acid, though, the only downfall of ingesting it. 35

Dextrose (probably GMO) – mostly harmless. 36

Calcium silicate – silica ingestion is somewhat harmless and needed by the body as a trace mineral. Inhaling it, on the other hand, can cause a lot of health issues. 37

Tricalcium phosphate – “bone ash” form of calcium. It is found in bones, and rocks. Low oral toxicity. 38

Sodium ferrocyanide (yellow prussiate of soda) – one of lesser toxic cyanide compounds. For the most part, it does not release free cyanide that is poisonous. If combined with acid it may release small amounts of cyanide gas. It is best to err on the side of caution. 39

Sodium silicoaluminate – silica and aluminum. Aluminum is mostly inert in the gastrointestinal tract as long as you are not suffering from leaky gut or ulcerations. Nonetheless, it is still aluminum and should be avoided if possible since it does not serve any biological function in the body. 40 41

Depending on the additive, the product can even be mostly benign or ingest with caution. Even with the less offensive additives found in most commercial salt products, the salt is still stripped of trace minerals and bleached. Our modern diet lacks most trace minerals and ingestion of them can be important.

I also have some issues with other forms of “natural” salt as well. Himalayan salt might contain too much fluoride (granted natural fluoride is not sodium hexafluorosilicate, the inorganic kind used in water fluoridation,) and some of the cheaper Himalayan salt products may be artificially dyed pink. 42

How Much Salt Should I Take In Daily?

Your daily salt intake depends on a lot of independent variables. Hydration, activity amount, if you are on any medications, salt intake from diet, aldosterone need (adrenal fatigue,) nonnative EMF exposure, and the list goes on. 43

All I can recommend is that if you are reasonably healthy, liberally salt your food. If you are in the heat a lot or exercising for long periods of the time (lots of sweating) it may be a good idea to add some salt to your water (1/2 – 1 tsp per quart of water,) to help with hydration. Gatorade is pretty much useless, not enough electrolytes, no trace minerals, and food coloring! A counterpoint to mixing salt with water that is not fully scientifically studied, but worth noting.

If you are just coming off a low sodium diet, you might want to increase slowly your sodium intake and balance it with proper hydration so not to dehydrate yourself.

Salts That I Recommend

  • Celtic Sea Salt – Hand harvested off the coast of France and verified high trace mineral content. Descent magnesium and sulfur levels for the salt and low in fluoride. Expensive, but high-quality salt.
  • Real Salt – Salt harvested from the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Higher calcium levels than Celtic Sea Salt but higher levels of iodine, low levels of fluoride, and a lot less expensive. Third party analysis and MSDS verified, and the salt I use.

  1. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/06/scientists-are-divided-about-the-dangers-of-salt-but-some-in-washington-want-to-keep-the-health-warnings/
  3. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/95/11/2588.full
  4. http://anh-europe.org/news/saturated-fat-is-not-the-culprit-in-heart-disease
  5. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Added-Sugars-Add-to-Your-Risk-of-Dying-from-Heart-Disease_UCM_460319_Article.jsp
  6. http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/salt-intake-not-associated-with-mortality-or-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease-heart-failure-in-older-adults/
  7. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/03/us-eating-less-salt-doesnt-cut-heart-ris-idUSTRE7427AG20110503
  8. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  9. http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/26/5/968.full
  10. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/100/10/1134.full
  11. Kruse, Jack. Epi-paleo Rx, Optimized Life PLC; March 20, 2013.
  12. Kruse, Jack. Epi-paleo Rx, Optimized Life PLC; March 20, 2013.
  13. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/smo
  14. Kruse, Jack. Epi-paleo Rx, Optimized Life PLC; March 20, 2013.
  15. Perlmutter, David. Brain Maker, Little, Brown and Company; April 28, 2015.
  16. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  17. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  18. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  19. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  20. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  21. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1969518
  23. http://ruhlman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ajh2011115a.pdf
  24. https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-human-need-for-salt/
  25. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  26. https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-human-need-for-salt/
  27. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  28. https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-human-need-for-salt/
  29. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  30. https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-human-need-for-salt/
  31. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  32. https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-when-salt-reduction-may-be-warranted/
  33. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  34. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  35. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  36. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
  37. http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923273
  38. https://www.innophos.com/__sitedocs/msds/tricalcium-phosphate-e00017.pdf
  39. http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924987
  40. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwi7zPix79HHAhXLjQ0KHQzbA4s&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciencelab.com%2Fmsds.php%3FmsdsId%3D9924957&ei=qYXjVftTy5s2jLaP2Ag&usg=AFQjCNFqYS84uPmBULdxOup_9txC-9nawQ&sig2=NwcCCvySJc2v0Zim9TwEZQ
  41. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165315-overview
  42. http://www.safesalt.com.au/naturalfluoride.html
  43. Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way To Health, Medical Alternative Press; 2 edition, 2006
2 Comments
  1. I have no problem with table salt but when I consume sea salt I feel a slight burning sensation in my urination tract, is that normal?

    • No, that is very interesting. Could that be a reaction to the trace minerals in the sea salt? Maybe try Real Salt if it does the same then yes, that is probably it.

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