Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Guest

Salt makes you hungry, not thirsty

Recommended Posts

Guest Guest

Science Daily has an article  Salty diet makes you hungry, not thirsty

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170417182920.htm

 

"a salty diet caused the subjects to drink less"

 

"the prevailing hypothesis had been that the charged sodium and chloride ions in salt grabbed onto water molecules and dragged them into the urine. ... results showed something different: salt stayed in the urine, while water moved back into the kidney and body. ... urea was accumulating in the kidney, where it counteracts the water-drawing force of sodium and chloride. But synthesizing urea takes a lot of energy, which explains why mice on a high-salt diet were eating more."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is interesting.  I still think in this particular group (CR Society) there are probably too many people getting too little salt (I used to be one of them).  Your body needs salt, its very important.  Standard American Diet has too much salt, but anyone eating a whole food type diet may not be getting enough.  I had mentioned in another thread that my Dad was hospitalized recently after passing out, then diagnosed with a heart flutter, which in turn according to his docs may have been caused by too little sodium in his diet (I researched this a bit and found that there is definitely a connection between low sodium diet and health problems like this one).  The more I read about salt, the more I think it has been unfairly villanized, I'm even starting to suspect this might be one of the top things people pursuing an optimal nutrition diet are doing wrong.

 

 

12 Reasons Why Salt is GOOD for you!

 

1. The premise that salt leads to hypertension has never been scientifically supported. On the contrary, studies show that a reduced-sodium diet leads to health issues. In one study, subjects consuming less than 2300 mg. (the recommended daily allowance) of sodium per day had significantly higher mortality rates (meaning a higher risk of death) than the subjects consuming 2300 mg. or more sodium per day.

2. Salt aids blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity. A low-salt diet increases insulin resistance and even moderate dietary salt restriction is shown to cause systemic insulin resistance (study #1 and #2).

3. Salt is a natural antihistamine. A pinch of salt sprinkled on the tongue may help improve an allergic reaction or an asthma attack (source).

4. Your body needs salt to maintain the proper stomach pH. Stomach acid is hydrochloric acid and salt is sodium chloride. Proper stomach acid levels are absolutely foundational for good digestion, but 90% of Americans have low stomach acid. Learn how to correct low stomach acid naturally.

5. Salt lowers adrenaline spikes. Adrenaline is a necessary and important stress hormone, but it is just that… a stress hormone. When adrenaline patterns are out of rhythm, it takes a toll on the body (source).

6. Salt improves sleep quality. It boasts anti-stress and anti-excitatory qualities due to its suppression of stress hormones and it increasing of the metabolic rate. This may explain why many people report that a low sodium diet interferes with sleep and an adequate amount of dietary salt improves sleep quality.

Interestingly, if you often wake up with your heart pounding between 2 and 4 AM, it is probably because of an adrenaline spike. The most important change is to reduce both physical and mental stress, as well as eating a healthy diet. But one immediate fix to help you go back to sleep is just a pinch of salt and sugar (or salt and honey, if you prefer) sprinkled on the tongue to calm the adrenaline peak (read more about it inthis book!).

7. Adequate salt consumption encourages a healthy weight and fast metabolism. First, one studyshowed that increased salt intake leads to an increase in the elimination of cortisol and lower blood cortisol levels. Imbalanced or excess cortisol means weight gain and a stagnant metabolism.

8. Salt supports thyroid function by reducing circulating stress hormones. For example, cortisol is anti-thyroid, but salt combats excess cortisol.

9. Salt supports hyperosmolarity of the extracellular fluid. Slight hyperosmolarity–more solutes in the extracellular fluid than in the cell–actually increases the cell’s metabolic rate (source). That means salt can speed up your metabolism! On the other hand, when the extracellular fluid is hypo-osmotic in relation to the cell, it impairs the breakdown of proteins and glucose and thereby lowers the cell’s metabolism.

10. Increased sodium intake also correlates with increased thermogenesis–heat production by the body (the study is here).

11. Adequate salt supports balanced hormones. Hormone and nutrition researcher Ray Peat explains the correlation between the salt-regulating hormone aldosterone and mineral loss:

One of the things that happen when there isn’t enough sodium in the diet is that more aldosterone is synthesized. 
Aldosterone causes less sodium to be lost in the urine and sweat, but it achieves that at the expense of the increased loss of potassium, magnesium, and probably calcium
… Magnesium deficiency is extremely common, but a little extra salt in the diet makes it easier to retain the magnesium in our foods.

12. Salt makes food taste good. Salt adds a satiety factor to food and makes meals enjoyable. Adequate salt content of food makes it easier to enjoy quality instead of quantity, thereby encouraging mindful eating and weight management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing a little bit of more research since I fainted twice during my most recent fast about salt intake. I'm concerned that I am not getting enough salt. But what I haven't been able to find yet is a good source about a healthy range I should be targeting for intake. What is the lower level that I should be making sure I meet? I feel much more confident about the upper level that I should be trying to stay under.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I've been averaging 1165.5mg per day.

 

It's confusing just because different sources are recommending different amounts. This study seems to contradict everything else I've seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My one year average is 1020/1500 mg (68%); and I suspect it's even lower since I often eat canned beans without added sodium from Trader Joe's. My leading sodium source, according to COM, is canned chickpeas, which have no added salt. I also sweat a lot... and do get dizzy, too, although I've only fainted once in the past five years.

 

I've learned how to control these potential fainting episodes when raisng my head too fast; but now I'm reading these low blood episodes may be bad for the brain?

 

Any advice on how to safely increase salt to RDA with a whole foods plant diet? What, like eat more celery and chard?

Edited by Sthira

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any advice on how to safely increase salt to RDA with a whole foods plant diet? What, like eat more celery and chard?

 

I started lightly salting my veges (just from a salt shaker).  I do think it improves the flavor (like any good chef will tell you).

How does salt "bring out the flavor" of food?

Salt tends to reduce our perception of bitterness in foods. By reducing the bitterness perception it actually increases our perception of not only the salt but the other flavors in the food that we can detect: sweet, sour, and umami (savory flavor). This brings out 4 of our major 5 tastes while reducing one that is often undesirable. Of course too much salt eventually overtakes those other flavors as well, so the amount of salt is very important.

There is also the fact that we crave salt in order to get the sodium we need to survive. Meeting that craving adds to our enjoyment of foods.

 

The one article specifically recommended "Maldon Sea Salt".  I must admit I used to think all salt was pretty much the same thing, but apparently not.  Check the amazon reviews for that Maldon stuff:  I guess I'll have to try it... 

 

Yesterday I salted fresh raw beets and steamed spinach, both cases seemed like an improvement in flavor to me.  I also buy the salted variety of mixed nuts which to me are a huge improvement in flavor over the unsalted variety. 

 

-Gordo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed this video about salt farmers: 

 

I'm thinking of trying to grow and can a lot of vegetables this year but was worried about the salt content. Maybe I shouldn't be as worried and consider it a feature instead of a bug (so long as I monitor to make sure it's within a healthy range).

 

I wish there was some consensus in the literature about what the healthy range we should be aiming for is.

 

Personally I've come to MUCH prefer unsalted nuts. I can taste the nuttiness much better without salt.

Edited by Thomas G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Salt makes you hungry, not thirsty

 

So all those salty bar snacks don't actually serve their intended purpose...

 

$_1.JPG

33903127-russian-snack--beer-and-dried-f

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice, I can see myself becoming a "salt snob" (end of video).  Based on the reddit explanation, salt basically "turns off" bitter flavors, which for most people is a good thing, but probably even moreso with anyone that eats a diverse plant based diet (bitter foods often have very high health benefits, like dandelion greens for example).  I'm not a fan of bitter (most people aren't), so anything minus bitter is an improvement, I think that is especially true with nuts (to me the difference between salted and unsalted nuts is enormous even with the same exact brand and mix of nut varieties).  I've never tried salted steamed dandelion greens before, I think I'll do that today (my yard is full of them right now, haha)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing some more research on optimal salt intake. It's frustrating how much obfuscation there is out there. But the long story short, I don't think I'm getting too little salt. I do wish there was more research about low salt diets (that wasn't being warped by the salt industry) and it is hard to tell what the optimal range should be, but I think I'm well above any level that would be problematic.

 

My Cronometer amount is bound to be below the actual amount that I'm getting, since I do still occasionally eat out and I don't know how to enter those meals into Cronometer. Those meals are no doubt much higher in salt then what I'm making at home.

 

If anything I could be slightly more diligent, but I don't think that's the best use of my attention right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I sprinkled a little salt on steamed brussels sprouts and they turned from something pretty disgusting, to something rather pleasing.  All bitterness removed.  I'm sold on salt for bitter foods.  77% of salt in the average US diet comes from processed foods, if you do not eat processed foods, I think it would be nearly impossible to get too much salt. 

salt-sodiumcontent.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, salt is a nettlesome issue. I too suspect I might be low on salt (sorry, I don't trust software estimators like Cronometer, because there are just too many factors of variance). Of the list Gordo made in post #2, I don't recognize any symptoms in myself, except possibly the antihitamine aspect as I have a slightly overactive immune reaction to mites and indoor dust (sneezing attacks). And, as I wrote before, I have a very different reaction to the salt/taste issue - perhaps I'm unique in this, but I really don't like the taste of salt, and don't think it adds anything (for me) to taste in dishes - I much prefer unsalted nuts, I enjoy bitter taste in brussel sprouts, dandelions and the like and would absolutely not want to diminish it with salt. To give you an idea of an equivalent that you might identify, is when people tell me that they find the taste of coffee and tea much too bitter and they absolutely want suger in those drinks - that horrifies me, as I'm the exact opposite, I feel sugar kills the taste of coffee and tea and I very much enjoy the 'bitter' (it's actually much more complex a flavor than 'bitter') aspect of those drinks. So my opposition to sugar (and milk, half and half, creamers etc.) is not health based (though that's true too), but purely taste based. Now, if you can take that understanding and transfer it to vegetables and other food, you'll know exactly how I feel about salt on my veggies and food - it brutally kills the fine flavors and is a terrible drawback to fine cooking (for me).

 

So how do I get more salt into my diet without drowning it in junk like sugar (honey) or other high-calorie stuff to disguise the taste? Foods that I consume that are naturally higher in salt - such as fish - I can't eat more of (I eat small amounts of salmon and sardines twice a week and that's the absolute upper limit for me). I'm open to ideas!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> So how do I get more salt into my diet without drowning it in junk like sugar (honey) or other high-calorie stuff to disguise the taste?

 

Are there no high salt foods you like?  Pickles?  Brined olives?  Miso?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there no high salt foods you like?  Pickles?  Brined olives?  Miso?

 

I like all of those. Classic miso has soy - I guess one could take out the soy, but then it wouldn't be miso, and salt water is not terribly exciting. Olives - love 'em, but worried about calories. Pickles is a good idea. More suggestions along those lines, I guess - low calories, no nutritional danger points, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I love both sauerkraut and kimchi, although one should not overdo it, especially the kimchi. High rates of stomach cancer in populations with high consumption (f.ex. Korea) are suspected to be down to - actually, salt content. The idea here is to diversify the sources so that one is not overly reliant on just one, that way one can hopefully get enough salt without tipping into negative side effects like cancer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tomas, thanks for that video!  Loved it. "I feel better with the Himalayan salt in my life" haha.

 

It also shows how stupid Dr. G can be at times (needs more perspective).  People in this forum without a lot of time might or need for humor might want to jump right to 5 minutes in.  He proves my point that eating a plant based whole food diet and salting some of your veges is probably not even going to be ENOUGH salt in your diet, and studies showing the problems with a "high sodium" diet are a night and day difference from what we are talking about (problems seem to start at about 3 times RDA for example, I think most of us struggle to even get RDA levels despite the fact that eating less than RDA is associated with health problems and increased mortality). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sodium Intake and All-Cause Mortality Over 20 Years in the Trials of Hypertension Prevention.

Cook NR, Appel LJ, Whelton PK.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Oct 11;68(15):1609-1617. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.07.745.

PMID: 27712772

http://sci-hub.cc/10.1016/j.jacc.2016.07.745

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The relationship between lower sodium intake and total mortality remains controversial.

OBJECTIVES:

This study examined the relationship between well-characterized measures of sodium intake estimated from urinary sodium excretion and long-term mortality.

METHODS:

Two trials, phase I (1987 to 1990), over 18 months, and phase II (1990 to 1995), over 36 months, were undertaken in TOHP (Trials of Hypertension Prevention), which implemented sodium reduction interventions. The studies included multiple 24-h urine samples collected from pre-hypertensive adults 30 to 54 years of age during the trials. Post-trial deaths were ascertained over a median 24 years, using the National Death Index. The associations between mortality and the randomized interventions as well as with average sodium intake were examined.

RESULTS:

Among 744 phase I and 2,382 phase II participants randomized to sodium reduction or control, 251 deaths occurred, representing a nonsignificant 15% lower risk in the active intervention (hazard ratio {HR}: 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.66 to 1.09; p = 0.19). Among 2,974 participants not assigned to an active sodium intervention, 272 deaths occurred. There was a direct linear association between average sodium intake and mortality, with an HR of 0.75, 0.95, and 1.00 (references) and 1.07 (p trend = 0.30) for <2,300, 2,300 to <3,600, 3,600 to <4,800, and ≥4,800 mg/24 h, respectively; and with an HR of 1.12 per 1,000 mg/24 h (95% CI: 1.00 to 1.26; p = 0.05). There was no evidence of a J-shaped or nonlinear relationship. The HR per unit increase in sodium/potassium ratio was 1.13 (95% CI: 1.01 to 1.27; p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

We found an increased risk of mortality for high-sodium intake and a direct relationship with total mortality, even at the lowest levels of sodium intake. These results are consistent with a benefit of reduced sodium and sodium/potassium intake on total mortality over a 20-year period.

KEYWORDS:

diet; mortality; nutrition; potassium; sodium

Edited by AlPater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Al -- all that tells me is that lowering salt intake in pre-hypertensive adults who presumably were eating too much salt to begin with, improves their health.  Not sure how applicable that is as a general recommendation (I'd say it's not).  Perhaps if you have high blood pressure, you should cut down the salt.  Kind of like if you have heart disease, maybe you should go with an ultra low fat diet (which probably isn't optimal for someone without heart disease).

 

Contrast to:

Sodium Intake and Mortality in the NHANES II Follow-up Study

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking more about this since the topic came up again on the CRS FB page.  It seems to me there are a lot of "bad science" studies out there when it comes to sodium.  In particular, measuring sodium intake is often indistinguishable from measuring people's intake of processed foods (where over 70% of sodium comes from).  Didn't we already know increasing processed food consumption is associated with poor health and longevity outcomes?  What happens if you take for example a group of healthy people, eating a healthy diet, say a plant based whole food diet, and only change one variable, sodium?  I don't think this has been done, but these guys came the closest that I've seen:

Dietary sodium influences the effect of mental stress on heart rate variability: a randomized trial in healthy adults

 

Unfortunately it was only a 5 day study.  To convert mmol to mg of sodium, multiply mmol by 23. The low group was at 230mg sodium, medium group was 3400mg, the high group a whopping 9200mg! It's fascinating to me that the high sodium group had a slower heart rate and improved heart rate variability (something associated with longevity and supercentenarians) and no difference in blood pressure compared to the low sodium group.  But the difference between medium and high groups was small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where were you when the high school Chemistry teacher dropped the tiniest bit of sodium into a beaker of water, Gordo? It was quite a strong reaction https://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www2.uni-siegen.de/~pci/versuche/pics/natrium4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www2.uni-siegen.de/~pci/versuche/english/v44-1-1.html&h=270&w=360&tbnid=0nTZOgZtD0oDaM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=213&usg=__L85BFwosZkZaMsoIiOVhfYU9slM=&vet=10ahUKEwjwoa3c8d7TAhWh0YMKHRvLCzoQ9QEIKjAA..i&docid=pITSUikjZiM41M&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwoa3c8d7TAhWh0YMKHRvLCzoQ9QEIKjAA... poof. Sodium has an atomic weight of 23 but is a toxic metal. I feel secure that the scientists were not trying to kill the subjects.

Edited by AlPater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where were you when the high school Chemistry teacher dropped the tiniest bit of sodium into a beaker of water, Gordo? It was quite a strong reaction https://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www2.uni-siegen.de/~pci/versuche/pics/natrium4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www2.uni-siegen.de/~pci/versuche/english/v44-1-1.html&h=270&w=360&tbnid=0nTZOgZtD0oDaM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=213&usg=__L85BFwosZkZaMsoIiOVhfYU9slM=&vet=10ahUKEwjwoa3c8d7TAhWh0YMKHRvLCzoQ9QEIKjAA..i&docid=pITSUikjZiM41M&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwoa3c8d7TAhWh0YMKHRvLCzoQ9QEIKjAA... poof. Sodium has an atomic weight of 23 but is a toxic metal. I feel secure that the scientists were not trying to kill the subjects.

 

I guess it makes more sense now, you avoid sodium because you think your stomach will explode and kill you.  Thank you 5th grade science teachers  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×