4

votes

Do you regulate your sodium intake?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I come from an obese, high blood pressure background and I am very used to being vigilant about the amount of sodium I consume. The problem is, it is affecting my BACON consumption, heavily. :)

I always try to stay under about 1200mg of sodium per day.

Do you know how much sodium you ingest per day? Do you care?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on January 15, 2011
at 08:07 AM

but why should extremely small levels of minerals be irrelevant when they are all working together i.e. calcium and magnesium -needed for its assimilation? It is only when we take INDIVIDUAL chemical-based minerals that we need to take mega doses....surely?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 13, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Thanks for the ideas! He's not going to crack. I just have to pony up the dough for my own meat and cook him something different. Hopefully, soon.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on January 13, 2011
at 12:19 AM

Congrats on dropping the BP meds! I hope that the lower carb diet works for you and that you're able to pinpoint the source of your edema and get off the water pills, too. It sounds like you're definitely being proactive and taking charge of your health, which I admire. :) It always frustrates me when doctors seem more eager to mask the symptoms than treat the source of the problem. (My doctor told me to take metamucil when I complained of edema. Yeah.) Good luck and keep us updated!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I just recently dropped the blood pressure meds (finally!) and I'm determined to come off the diuretics too. I just have to be careful with what I'm messing with because I know retaining that much water is bad for my heart. I am seeing less water retention by going lower carb and I'm hoping that's the answer instead of sodium. It's not ED related. My fun with that was binge eating. I've overcome it. The water retention issue is medical. I just need to fix it. <3

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Thanks for your great answer Kaz, no worries about assumptions. When I was pregnant 9 years ago, I ended up with high blood pressure, water retention problems and curly hair. :) I didn't have preclampsia, the baby was fine, my body just really, really hated being pregnant. I have the same fluctuations you are talking about, if I don't take my prescribed water pills, I don't even pee. I can gain 10lbs easy in a day. It's crazy! My doctors really have no ideas why. They just want me to take water pills, but I'm too young to keep taking them forever. (cont'd)

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I didn't realize we knew for a 100% fact that the minerals in unrefined salt are irrelevant. Thanks Matthew.

F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

(826)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:56 PM

I should mention that slab lasts 4 weeks, when cut into 4's. I have 4 mouths in my home and we eat it daily.

F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

(826)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:56 PM

My slab belly usually runs about 45 bucks, so you'll be close to the cap. add a couple packs of liver and there ya go. Seriously, if he doesnt like the toughness (leanness), get the fattier cuts like pork shoulder, ribs, backbone and bacon. For beef stick with brisket, shanks, roasts, cheeks, oxtail and experiment with "trash cuts" (the ones no one buys). they are the cheapest, usually fattiest and with organs, the most nutrient dense.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:14 PM

Yeah, probably. Sadly I am not that healthy, so I think I still have to watch it.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 06:19 PM

But bacon is so tasty! :) I know what your saying and that may end up being my conclusion to get off the meds.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 06:05 PM

Thanks Louisa & Matthew! My problem is water retention, so I don't know if the type of salt would matter anyway. I know my best bet is self experimentation, it just takes me a bit of time to jump off the cliff.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 12, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Oops, that should be "vary from individual to individual".

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 12, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Hi, Melissa. Hope you get the answer you need. All I can find are things that state that sodium requirements vary from individual, and that this needs to be studied more. I stopped rinsing my bacon, and now add salt to broths if I wish, and use salted, pastured butter some. I feel better for it. Wish I could give you some scientific reference.s Best wishes to you. :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on January 12, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Unrefined seasalt is still sodium chloride, the levels of any other minerals are so small as to be irrelevant. Use it for the flavour and cultural value, not the health benefits.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Thanks PG. I actually went through all of them before I posted this one. Nothing had been extremely recent and I was looking for some discussion of actual milligrams consumed.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:53 PM

This page of search results shows several threads discussing salt intake: http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/salt#axzz1ApkiKdMr

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:47 PM

I don't add salt to ANYTHING I cook, not even recipes that call for it. I let my husband add it himself. It's really just coming up in my day to day food and I don't really eat processed food either. I have huge water retention problems which is why I take a diuretic daily. Going lower carb (around 75g per day) has helped with that a lot, but I'm really hoping to get off the meds. 1200mg per day is a really low baseline. I'm wondering if I just inch it up like I have been doing with my calories, I can find what my body can handle.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Thank you! I did find a local farmer, but he requires a $50 minimum order and my husband won't eat the grass-fed meat. He says it is tougher and he didn't like it. I was hoping after the holidays to have some extra money to buy my own stash of meat. Maybe in February...

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:14 PM

I already eat the low sodium bacon. :( I just had blood tests and my sodium/potassium/magnesium numbers are all within range. I actually just got off the blood pressure meds last month. I am still on diuretics and hoping to get off those too. I am looking for a sodium/water retention correlation - - or at least whether or not I believe that.

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8 Answers

best answer

1
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:58 PM

I used to struggle with serious edema. I'm talking ten pound fluctuations in a single day, which was definitely a major issue, since I would start the day at ~130 pounds. My thighs would swell up 1-2 inches each to the point where I was sure they would rupture. I have always been neurotic about tracking my intake, and at that point in my life, was probably consuming ~1000 mg +/- sodium per day. I was one of those people who was convinced that if i even glanced at a salt shaker, I'd gain twenty pounds. (Fact: during my ED, I didn't really have any "fear foods" except salt. It carried over into my "recovery" as well, my edema was that bad.)

Anyway -- that was just my background. I still track, to the point where if I grab the Lawry's or something, I actually weigh the shaker before and after use to get an idea of how much salt I'm using. However, with my newfound love of meat (my edema occurred during my almost-vegan period) came a love for smoked, cured meats like bacon and salmon and smoked turkey. (Omnomnom.) I also like a salty, char-grilled steak. Yum. I have had days of upward 3,000+ mg sodium, and a "low" day for me is now around 1800. I am actively trying to reduce my salt, mostly just because I'm convinced I can shed those last 2-3 vanity pounds if I ditch it, but I'm starting to wonder if maybe I'm not as salt-sensitive as I thought.

When I was veggie, I didn't eat gluten/dairy/soy, but I was eating lots of legumes, peanut butter, tons of rice and other grains, and flax. Flax was nearly the end of me. I don't get along well with phytoestrogens, it would seem. Now, my belly is flat, my thighs are slim (not back to where they were before the edema, but the edema brought emotional eating, and I gained about five pounds over the summer due to the anger at my body) and I go to bed about two pounds over where I woke up, instead of ten.

I don't know what the point of me rambling on was, so I'm sorry for my babbling here. :P I think what I'm getting at is yes, I track my salt and I have struggled with edema, but perhaps yours is something else going on rather than salt that is causing your bloating? I'm not sure; I apologize if I come off as assuming or anything. In my case, I think it was intolerances to the foods in my diet, since keeping my salt low didn't help me any then and now I'm a salt glutton and don't struggle with water anymore.

I also start my morning off with green tea, and I drink water all. day. long. I eat foods high in potassium, and I don't go more than an hour or two without an epic pee, either, so I'm pretty sure that I'm flushing it all out.

Good luck with your edema. I know how much it hurts, and I'm sorry you have to struggle with it. <3

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on January 13, 2011
at 12:19 AM

Congrats on dropping the BP meds! I hope that the lower carb diet works for you and that you're able to pinpoint the source of your edema and get off the water pills, too. It sounds like you're definitely being proactive and taking charge of your health, which I admire. :) It always frustrates me when doctors seem more eager to mask the symptoms than treat the source of the problem. (My doctor told me to take metamucil when I complained of edema. Yeah.) Good luck and keep us updated!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Thanks for your great answer Kaz, no worries about assumptions. When I was pregnant 9 years ago, I ended up with high blood pressure, water retention problems and curly hair. :) I didn't have preclampsia, the baby was fine, my body just really, really hated being pregnant. I have the same fluctuations you are talking about, if I don't take my prescribed water pills, I don't even pee. I can gain 10lbs easy in a day. It's crazy! My doctors really have no ideas why. They just want me to take water pills, but I'm too young to keep taking them forever. (cont'd)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I just recently dropped the blood pressure meds (finally!) and I'm determined to come off the diuretics too. I just have to be careful with what I'm messing with because I know retaining that much water is bad for my heart. I am seeing less water retention by going lower carb and I'm hoping that's the answer instead of sodium. It's not ED related. My fun with that was binge eating. I've overcome it. The water retention issue is medical. I just need to fix it. <3

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:04 PM

The Cordain school says to limit salt, but I have so many problems with his views (low sat fat/high veg/no dairy) - that I take it "with a grain of salt". My very limited understanding is that it is not so much how much salt (unless you go way overboard) as it is the sodium/potassium balance. These are your electrolytes, and cellular function is much improved when they are in balance. The problem is that most people don't get enough potassium (or magnesium for that matter).

If you are tracking sodium intake, vary it and see how your blood pressure responds. Blood pressure should increase somewhat due to fructose/alcohol increasing uric acid - so I would watch that too. Also being overweight adds to blood pressure, as does stress and inflammation.

Personally, I am an obese T2 diabetic, with all the symptons of Metabolic Syndrome. I watch the fruit and alcohol (although I still drink) and use Lite salt which is half potassium chloride. I also take 99mg of potassium citrate 4x per day. I tried the low sodium bacon, but my wife doesn't like it. My blood pressure is consistently 5 points lower now that I've lost over 30 pounds. I've also stopped my blood pressure meds and its just borderline high now.

As always, YMMV.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:14 PM

I already eat the low sodium bacon. :( I just had blood tests and my sodium/potassium/magnesium numbers are all within range. I actually just got off the blood pressure meds last month. I am still on diuretics and hoping to get off those too. I am looking for a sodium/water retention correlation - - or at least whether or not I believe that.

2
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on January 12, 2011
at 05:10 PM

I eat salt, but it is not SODIUM CHLORIDE, it is the unrefined sea salt, Sel de Guerande. It is grey and wet, comes in large flakes and is very beneficial to health of the body.

Here is a great page detailing many of its benefits from CureZone.

I use it for cooking and add it to things such as eggs at the table. As it is a 100% natural product and all the minerals it contains are readily bio-available to the body (which means it is totally able to be assimilated without any harm whatsoever of over dose), I feel there is no need to measure it at all.

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I didn't realize we knew for a 100% fact that the minerals in unrefined salt are irrelevant. Thanks Matthew.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on January 12, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Unrefined seasalt is still sodium chloride, the levels of any other minerals are so small as to be irrelevant. Use it for the flavour and cultural value, not the health benefits.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 06:05 PM

Thanks Louisa & Matthew! My problem is water retention, so I don't know if the type of salt would matter anyway. I know my best bet is self experimentation, it just takes me a bit of time to jump off the cliff.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on January 15, 2011
at 08:07 AM

but why should extremely small levels of minerals be irrelevant when they are all working together i.e. calcium and magnesium -needed for its assimilation? It is only when we take INDIVIDUAL chemical-based minerals that we need to take mega doses....surely?

1
Medium avatar

on January 12, 2011
at 09:12 PM

I think salt is only relevant in that it creates temporary bouts of hypertension which may push the already hypertensive across some threshold into dangerous territory. For a healthy paleo-adherent with no cardiovascular health issues and an adequate intake of water, it seems like a salted red herring.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:14 PM

Yeah, probably. Sadly I am not that healthy, so I think I still have to watch it.

1
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on January 12, 2011
at 06:16 PM

I do not have added salt, and do not have bacon, either, because of its high sodium content. I follow Cordains ideas: natural foods have enough sodium on their own!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 06:19 PM

But bacon is so tasty! :) I know what your saying and that may end up being my conclusion to get off the meds.

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:41 PM

I have never measured actual sodium intake. I do though simply use the salt shaker judiciously. By that i mean that yes i do try and limit my salt usage.

I don't think its bad in the way that I've heard Cordain lecture about but in my prepaleo days i did indeed use a LOT LOT of salt and retained water in my ankles, fingers, and knees. It was seriously uncomfortable and that feeling always stays with my in my memories so i just don't go too hardcore with salt.

However i think for already healthy, fit people salt-usage is NOT an issue. Caveat: assuming one used the good stuff.

Also, jsyk the salt im referring to, even in my prepaleo days, was always good quality sea salt. I dropped the SAD iodized stuff prolly ten years ago.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:47 PM

I don't add salt to ANYTHING I cook, not even recipes that call for it. I let my husband add it himself. It's really just coming up in my day to day food and I don't really eat processed food either. I have huge water retention problems which is why I take a diuretic daily. Going lower carb (around 75g per day) has helped with that a lot, but I'm really hoping to get off the meds. 1200mg per day is a really low baseline. I'm wondering if I just inch it up like I have been doing with my calories, I can find what my body can handle.

1
F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

on January 12, 2011
at 03:36 PM

This is the best advice I can give you, and I am a bacon addict, so I know your pain in wondering if you are slowly killing yourself with the sodium additives.

  1. Find a pasture based farmer who raises pork
  2. Ask him if he sells if fresh/frozen, no additives (which is most likely true)
  3. Ask him if he only sells it sliced or if he has slab belly as well
  4. Buy said slab belly or sliced (but slab is cheaper) and section it for freezing
  5. Fry with your own measured amount of salt.
  6. Save bacon grease.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 12, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Thank you! I did find a local farmer, but he requires a $50 minimum order and my husband won't eat the grass-fed meat. He says it is tougher and he didn't like it. I was hoping after the holidays to have some extra money to buy my own stash of meat. Maybe in February...

F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

(826)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:56 PM

I should mention that slab lasts 4 weeks, when cut into 4's. I have 4 mouths in my home and we eat it daily.

F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

(826)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:56 PM

My slab belly usually runs about 45 bucks, so you'll be close to the cap. add a couple packs of liver and there ya go. Seriously, if he doesnt like the toughness (leanness), get the fattier cuts like pork shoulder, ribs, backbone and bacon. For beef stick with brisket, shanks, roasts, cheeks, oxtail and experiment with "trash cuts" (the ones no one buys). they are the cheapest, usually fattiest and with organs, the most nutrient dense.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 13, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Thanks for the ideas! He's not going to crack. I just have to pony up the dough for my own meat and cook him something different. Hopefully, soon.

0
9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on January 12, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I don't track my sodium consumption (or really care to), but it seems to me that when I use low-sodium salt about half the time, my blood pressure is lower (I know this because of frequent prenatals and other doctor's visits recently). Could easily be placebo effect, I suppose, but whatever works! High blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes also run in my family, so I keep on top of my readings.

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