Should we be having more salt?

Posted on Posted in Diet, Food, Health

 

So with doing Intermittent Fasting there are recommendations that you should up your salt intake more than normal because your body is getting rid of more than normal.

But the sodium recommendation of 2000mg per day by the Heart Foundation below:

which is in contradiction to a New England Journal study finding that 2000mg is too low for optimal health to reduce the chances of having a cardiovascular event causing death.

Yes, it will decrease your blood pressure by a little bit

<4%

but then increase your production of other nasty things that contribute to increase your chances of death by a cardiovascular event.

I found the original study which matches up with the video screenshot below:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1311889

So as the video says, if you followed the recommendations you would actually be more at risk of death from Cardiovascular Events than if you are even 12g/day of sodium which is a 30g of salt!!!

A teaspoon of salt is 6g of salt (2300mg of sodium).

The lowest chance of death was found around 4.5g to 5g if Sodium a day.

Again, this all correlates to the information that Jason Fung has given in the videos and audio I’ve heard from him.

Here was a video Dr Fung did about the “Salt Scare” and the origins about the recommendations for salt intake came from:

One interesting part he points out is this slide showing low salt intake increasing your bad cholesterol (Triglycerides). This could be a key for me who had very low salt intake and high cholesterol.

Again, I’m not a medical professional, but I am someone highly interested in optimising my health with the least amount of effort. Please consult your trusted medical professional before changing your diet.

Getting more salt in the diet is easy by adding it to my food, especially the sardines I’ve been eating for lunch.

Kimchi also looks like something else that could be easily added which will provide sodium, and potassium which are other things that Intermittent Fasters apparently should be taking more of.  And it gives you probiotics.

I also like how Koreans who eat a lot of the sodium rich kimchi with their meals all the time are among the countries with low cardiovascular deaths.

I did a Google search and found the following link to do with rate of deaths for different types of diseases:

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/coronary-heart-disease/by-country/

Coronary Heart Disease has South Korea as the lowest listed at 26.39 death rate per 100,000. Japan with their soy sauce love, come in as 3rd lowest with 30.36. Australia was 54.89. United States 77.97.

Stroke: Japan 34.00, Australia 27.41, South Korean 39.14, United States 25.94.

And finally, some more studies:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4089690/

This was from 2013 which recommends you should reduce salt intake.

“SALT INTAKE AND BLOOD PRESSURE

Raised blood pressure is the dominant cause of death and disability in adults worldwide, responsible for approximately 50% of deaths from coronary heart disease and over 60% of those from stroke. The risk of cardiovascular disease increases with increasing blood pressure and a reduction in blood pressure causes a significant reduction in vascular events.”

Looking at the stats above, South Korea and Japan who you would think take a lot of salt in their diet, have low Coronary Heart Disease (going with the theory that higher salt protects you against cardiovascular events causing death), but at the same time they have higher stroke rates (39 and 34) vs Australia and United States (27 and 25).  This could be explained by their higher blood pressure because they take more sodium.  Of cause, people can get strokes for other reasons (smoking, medication, diabetes, heart disease, family history, age, etc).  At least by eating more salt, you reduce the chance you die from a stroke caused by heart disease…. YAY!

And this one from 2017 which sounds as though they can’t find a causality between low sodium intake and higher risk of heart disease:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5381724/

So, what is the conclusion?

You can make up your mind with respect to whether you continue on a low salt diet following the recommendation guidelines of 2000mg of sodium per day.  It is all to do with trade offs and there does not seem to be an absolute clear “winner”.  I am going to err on the side of “more salt” rather than “less salt”, especially since I’m doing Intermittent Fasting.

And a couple other videos to watch about salt:

 

 

 

 

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