Archive | Food

The Salt Guidelines Are Too Restrictive, Say Experts

Traditional glass salt cellar

Is it really necessary to lower your salt intake as much as the current guidelines advise, in order to lower your blood pressure? According to a new expert paper, the guidelines are way too restrictive and not based on enough evidence.

Cardio Brief: International Experts Call Salt Guidelines Far Too Restrictive

I agree, and especially enjoyed this paragraph:

The new paper also emphasized the potential dangers of lowering sodium too much, as in the WHO and AHA guidelines. “Sodium,” the authors wrote, “is an essential nutrient. This implies that there must be a ‘U’-shaped relationship between dietary sodium intake and cardiovascular events, but there is no consensus of where the minimum risks lies.”

Salt IS an essential nutrient, so why don’t guidelines also mention the minimum intake for optimal health and wellbeing? Studies show that too little salt could even be dangerous.

Salt restriction is usually mainly thought of as a means to control blood pressure, even though the effect is usually modest. Are there other ways than salt restriction to control your blood pressure? Sure – like keeping your insulin low. Which of course can be achieved through a low-carb diet.

How to Normalize Your Blood Pressure

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Tip: Add More Salt

Sea salt on wooden table wooden spoon

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight? January’s here so it may be time to take action. We’ll repeat our best weight-loss tips during the next few weeks. Like this:

Do you feel lethargic or nauseous when starting out on a low-carb diet? Do you often get a headache? The most likely reason is a lack of salt.

Salt has been unfairly demonized, so under normal circumstances there is no reason to fear it. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, however, then you should be a little bit more careful.

On an LCHF diet, your body retains less salt, so it is easier to become deficient. If your symptoms are alleviated within 15 minutes of drinking a glass of water with half a teaspoon salt – or a cup of bouillon – then you can be sure that it was the lack of salt that was the problem.

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Is Salt the Cause of Hypertension?


Salt intake is often considered one of the main factors behind high blood pressure. But the evidence supporting this idea is very weak, and eating less salt has a very marginal effect (and could sometimes even be dangerous).

Likely, there are other factors, like high levels of insulin, that play a much more powerful role in raising blood pressure. Professor Grant Schofield has written a very interesting piece on this, and even had a letter published in the Lancet:

High insulin causes salt retention, that can result in high blood pressure. If you suffer from this, it might be a good idea to switch to a low-carb diet, that lowers the insulin. That means that you’re treating the cause, not just a symptom.

How to Normalize Your Blood Pressure

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The Worst Dietary Advice Ever?

How bad can the dietary advice be that hospital patients get? This tweet from Dr. Ted Naiman shows an example that may be the worst ever. Continue Reading →


New Study: Low-Salt Diets May Be Dangerous!


Could it be dangerous to avoid salt? The controversy over the advice to eat less salt continues with a new study published in the prestigious The Lancet.

Researchers find that people eating a low amount of salt have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. A moderate intake is generally associated with the lowest risk. But people eating a high amount of salt only have an increased risk of heart disease if they also have high blood pressure.

What it means

This study – like most – is based on statistical data, that can’t prove cause and effect. But it strengthens the argument that a moderate intake of salt, 3 to 6 grams of sodium per day (7,5 – 15 grams of salt), may be best for pretty much everyone. This matches what most people eat in developed societies.

Current official advice on low-salt diets may be misguided. It’s possible that it’s even harmful to avoid salt!

So if you like salt you can probably have all you want. Just try to keep your salt intake somewhat moderate if you have high blood pressure.


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Tip: Don’t Be Afraid to Add More Salt, If You Need It


Do you feel tired or low on energy on a low-carb diet? Do you perhaps even get a headache? Do you find it hard to concentrate? Are you lacking motivation?

These are common symptoms that can have a very simple cause: a lack of salt. And if so, you can get rid of the symptoms in 15 minutes, by drinking half a teaspoon of salt (about 2 grams) dissolved in a large glass of water. Alternatively have a cup of bouillon (the tastier option).

Salt has been way too demonized. However, it’s true that excessive salt can raise blood pressure a tiny bit, so if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure you should use this tip with caution.

Under normal circumstances though, and especially on a low-carb diet (that tends to lower blood pressure and increase salt losses), you’re probably going to do better with a moderate amount of salt. Not too much, but not too little either.

If you’re on a low-carb diet and feel low on energy and motivation, tired and unfocused… then just add some salt. If you feel much better within 15 minutes it is likely that you were low on salt. If so, you can repeat this tip daily as needed.

More about side effects on low carb and how to cure them

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New Study: Reducing Salt Might Harm Heart Failure Patients


Is salt good or bad for you? This is a hotly debated topic. For most people moderation may be the best answer.

A brand new study shakes the old advice that people with heart failure should avoid salt – something all heart failure patients get the advice to do, based on zero real evidence.

A new study tracked 900 patients with heart failure for three years. It found that people who restricted their salt intake surprisingly did MUCH worse, having an 85% higher chance of early death or hospitalization:

It may be that the current low-salt advice to heart failure patients – that everyone gets – is lethal. They may need salt. Future randomized studies are required to know for sure.

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The 5 Most Common Mistakes on LCHF [Teaser]

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Do you get a great effect from eating LCHF? Or is there a problem – do you have a hard time reaching your goal weight, are you hungry or do you feel bad?

In that case you could be doing one of the five most common mistakes on LCHF. In this short video I go through them.

Above you can see the first half of the video, with three of the mistakes. The whole video with all five mistakes is available on the membership pages (free trial one month).

The 5 Common Mistakes on LCHF

Have you made any of the mistakes or do you have any more to suggest?


Sign up for a free membership trial in a minute and you can see this full video instantly – as well as many other video coursesmoviesinterviewspresentationsQ&A with expertsetc. Like these:

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More Salt Is OK According to New Study


Do you know anyone who has bought in to the fear-mongering propaganda against salt? Now yet another big study indicates that the fear of salt is highly exaggerated.

When they examined the salt habits of over 100,000 people, it turned out that people who salted more than the recommended amount had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease. Those who salted a lot less – according to official guidelines – had a higher (!) risk of disease. Pour on the Salt? New Research Suggests More Is OK

JSW: Low-Salt Diets May Pose Health Risks, Study Finds

The study should be taken with a grain of salt (pun intended) as this is, as usual, only statistics. But like previous studies, it suggests it’s fine to put salt on your food at home without feeling guilty.

However, it may for many reasons, be wise to avoid ready-made foods and junk food (and bread) that have lots of added salt. This salt is to hide the boring taste of cheap, poor ingredients. Continue Reading →


Is Salt Dangerous? Or Good for You?


Is salt dangerous? Certain organizations – such as those issuing official dietary guidelines – have warned for a long time against salt and recommended a reduced intake. But as often when it comes to nutrition, the science is far from settled.

A recent review of all good studies in this area shows that the amount of salt that most people consume is associated with good health. Both an extremely high salt consumption and a low consumption seem to be worse.

The review can be added to several similar reviews in recent years, that question the dead-certain warnings against salt. Neither too much, nor too little, seems to be best.

You can actually get too little salt. This causes fatigue, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. You lose focus. And maybe you don’t just feel worse from salt deficiency, perhaps it’s also really bad for your health.

Avoid high doses of salt from junk food, cheap processed foods, soda and bread. Extreme amounts of salt are hardly good for you, and there are more reasons to avoid such foods. But if you eat real food, you can probably put as much salt on your food as you like.

If you have symptoms of salt deficiency, try taking half a teaspoon of salt, dissolved in water. If you quickly feel better, you were probably salt deficient. Continue Reading →