Dr. Devon Acou

The Truth About Salt

“What’s the first things that a good farmer puts out for the livestock? A salt block. There’s no one out in the pasture telling a cow that she is limited to one lick a day. I refuse to believe that my human patients are dumber then a cow.”
Dr. Joel Wallach

How many times have heard that putting salt on your food will basically kill you within five minutes of the first bite? Salt causes hypertension and stroke, right?

Nope. Not true. Salt is an essential nutrient which is made up of sodium and chloride. According to the American Heart Association, a person weighing 150 pounds needs a heaping teaspoon of salt each day, which comes out around 6 to 9 grams. The Japanese, who live 4.1 years longer then Americans and suffer half the cancer rates, eat 12 grams of salt a day. They also have half the cardiovascular disease rate compared to Americans (1). See how the old “common sense” advice about salt just isn’t adding up?

What about the research? The most recent study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in May 2011. The study followed 3,681 healthy European men and women under the age of 60 for roughly eight years. Those who consumed higher than average amounts of sodium did not experience an increased risk for hypertension, stroke, or heart attack.

The senior author of the study, Dr. Jan Staessen MD, stated that the study’s findings “do not support the current recommendations of a generalized and indiscriminate reduction of sodium intake at the population level.”

A 2010 study from Harvard University found that participants developed insulin resistance in only seven days when put on a salt restricted diet. Insulin resistance is an alarming condition that indicates a strong likelihood for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Another salt study conducted by Dr. Alexander Gordon Logan, which was published in both JAMA and the New York Times, found that restricting sodium intake had almost no measurable benefits. Logan looked at 3,505 patients and discovered that those with normal blood pressure did not lower their risk for heart disease or high blood pressure by restricting salt. Of patients experiencing hypertension or high blood pressure who went on a salt restricted diet, 97% did not experience any measurable benefit. Between 2-5% experienced a measurable, but practically insignificant reduction in blood pressure.

According to Logan, “You might as well go ahead and salt your food to taste.”

Fatigued? A Lack of Salt May Be to Blame

I call it the salt test…. Before you dive into your meal, take a bite of your favorite food. Observe how it tastes. Now add a few granules of Celtic Sea Salt to your next bite and taste again. If you notic a more rich flavor from the second bite, then salt your whole plate. Yes you read that right, salt your whole plate you need the salt.

What does salt help in my body? For one, your Adrenal Glands! Lack of salt is one common (and undiagnosed) reason for fatigue. Adrenals are responsible for salt, sugar, and sex. Aldosterone regulates salt balance for blood pressure. For blood sugar balance the hormone Cortisol is used. The last is androgenic steroids, also known as testosterone. In times of adrenal fatigue you may need more salt in your diet.

The Salt Needs of Nursing Mothers

For nursing mothers, this is especially important. Salt everything! Even the baby (kidding!) You need to make sure that you are drinking your gallon of water a day, but also you have to make sure that you are getting enough salt. Salt helps the body absorb water. When you’re nursing, you never want to experience blocked milk ducts or mastitis, which happens when you form a cheese like substance instead of milk, which gets stuck in your milk ducts. If you increase your salt intake you will pull in more water.

This will break up the cheese in your ducts and you will be able to express milk again. If you do experience a blocked duct or mastitis, seek medical attention. So, start chowing down on the salt. Just be careful not to take too much at one time, because excessive salt intake at one time causes vomiting. Take half a teaspoon every hour or so until your symptoms reside, and use common sense.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. As a responsible human being it is important that you do your own due diligence. You alone are responsible for how you choose to use the information on this site.

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