Big Salt – Getting to the Meat of the Matter

Big Salt – Getting to the Meat of the Matter
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Why do the meat industries add salt when millions of lives are at stake?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Why is the salt industry so powerful? They have their own PR and lobbying firms to play tobacco industry-style tactics to downplay the dangers. But salt is so cheap. How much money are they really making? It’s not the salt mine barons; it’s the processed food industry. Just like the sugar industry could care less if we buy a two-pound bag at the store, it’s the trillion-dollar processed food industry that uses the dirt-cheap added salt and sugar to sell us their junk. And, by hooking us on hyper-sweet and hyper-salty foods, our taste buds get so dampened down that natural foods taste like cardboard. The ripest fruit may not be as sweet as Fruit Loops; so, we just continue to buy more and more.

But, there are two other major reasons the food industry adds salt to food. “The other 2 reasons are entirely commercial and for most foods, are the real reason the food industry wants the intake of salt to remain high.” If you add salt to meat, it draws in water; so, you can increase the weight by like 20%. And, since it’s sold by the pound, that’s 20% more profits for very little cost. Salt also makes us thirsty.

Bars offer free salted peanuts for a reason. Soda companies own snack companies for a reason. It is not coincidence that Pepsi and Frito-Lay are the same company.

Would we shell out nine bucks for a drink at the movies after eating a bucket of unsalted popcorn? Would we supersize our soda if they didn’t salt our fries and Big Mac? But that’s not the only reason salt is added to meat. It solubilizes the muscle proteins to a gel for optimum meat texture. That’s one of the reasons the meat and fish industries like the so-called “meat glue” enzyme, transglutaminase. Meat glue can help gel the muscle protein without adding salt.

But some of these salt alternatives leave a bitter aftertaste in the meat, but this problem can be managed by also adding a bitter blocking chemical to the meat, which works by blocking the activating of our taste receptors, and preventing that information from ever reaching our brain.

The meat industry acknowledges that their products contribute a significant amount of dietary sodium, maligning their image. But, salt is just so cheap that using anything else would cost them money. However, if they are able to resolve this cost issue, if they can make it cost effective, then, one day, maybe, they could end up saving millions of lives, as well as dollars.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to johnhain via Pixabay.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Why is the salt industry so powerful? They have their own PR and lobbying firms to play tobacco industry-style tactics to downplay the dangers. But salt is so cheap. How much money are they really making? It’s not the salt mine barons; it’s the processed food industry. Just like the sugar industry could care less if we buy a two-pound bag at the store, it’s the trillion-dollar processed food industry that uses the dirt-cheap added salt and sugar to sell us their junk. And, by hooking us on hyper-sweet and hyper-salty foods, our taste buds get so dampened down that natural foods taste like cardboard. The ripest fruit may not be as sweet as Fruit Loops; so, we just continue to buy more and more.

But, there are two other major reasons the food industry adds salt to food. “The other 2 reasons are entirely commercial and for most foods, are the real reason the food industry wants the intake of salt to remain high.” If you add salt to meat, it draws in water; so, you can increase the weight by like 20%. And, since it’s sold by the pound, that’s 20% more profits for very little cost. Salt also makes us thirsty.

Bars offer free salted peanuts for a reason. Soda companies own snack companies for a reason. It is not coincidence that Pepsi and Frito-Lay are the same company.

Would we shell out nine bucks for a drink at the movies after eating a bucket of unsalted popcorn? Would we supersize our soda if they didn’t salt our fries and Big Mac? But that’s not the only reason salt is added to meat. It solubilizes the muscle proteins to a gel for optimum meat texture. That’s one of the reasons the meat and fish industries like the so-called “meat glue” enzyme, transglutaminase. Meat glue can help gel the muscle protein without adding salt.

But some of these salt alternatives leave a bitter aftertaste in the meat, but this problem can be managed by also adding a bitter blocking chemical to the meat, which works by blocking the activating of our taste receptors, and preventing that information from ever reaching our brain.

The meat industry acknowledges that their products contribute a significant amount of dietary sodium, maligning their image. But, salt is just so cheap that using anything else would cost them money. However, if they are able to resolve this cost issue, if they can make it cost effective, then, one day, maybe, they could end up saving millions of lives, as well as dollars.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to johnhain via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

You can rejuvenate your taste buds, though, if you cut down on foods with added salt/sugar/fat. Check out my video Changing Our Taste Buds.

Did I say meat glue? If you’ve never heard of it, I did a video about it (of course!): Is Meat Glue Safe?

The meat industry reaction to salt reminds me of their reaction to the classification of processed meat as a known human carcinogen. See Meat Industry Reaction to New Cancer Guidelines, and The Palatability of Cancer Prevention.

Isn’t there controversy as to how bad salt really is for you, though? Here’s the science; decide for yourself:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

82 responses to “Big Salt – Getting to the Meat of the Matter

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  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24786440

    This link was listed in one of Dr. G’s previous salt videos “Sodium Skeptics…”

    “However, there is no association of sodium with clinical events at 3 to 6
    g/day and a paradoxical higher rate of events at < 3 g/day."

    It seems to imply that the optimum salt intake is on a U shaped curve of between 3g/day and 6g/day.

    I'm now officially confused.

    1. From “Sodium Skeptics Try to Shake Up the Salt Debate” (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sodium-skeptics-try-to-shake-up-the-salt-debate/:)
      – “consensus that dietary sodium plays a significant role in raising people’s blood pressure”
      – “unequivocal evidence that increased sodium intake is associated with increased blood pressure”
      – “billions of dollars at stake” for the food industry
      – “data may have been falsified”
      – “measurement error, confounding, and reverse causality”
      – “one of the co-authors received thousands of dollars from the Salt Institute”

      Consensus in the scientific community that increased sodium is bad for one’s health; inconvenient information running counter to monied interests with dollars to distribute; researchers for hire; questionable study design; suspected fraud.

      What’s the confusion?
      It sounds like the kind of thing that even a caveman can understand…

        1. In Dr. G’s video “Sodium Skeptics…” ( http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sodium-skeptics-try-to-shake-up-the-salt-debate/ ) the study you mention is listed as a reference, but the whole content of the “Sodium Skeptics” video is there to *debunk* that study and others which imply the U-shaped results for salt intake. Dr. G. says that this study is flawed in its methodology and there is evidence of insider payoffs from “Big Salt”. In fact there is a direct relationship between salt intake and high blood pressure and there is no sweet spot for salt intake. The less, the better.

          1. Couldn’t agree more. Get sodium and get chloride from plants or animals that ate the plants.From my point of view from plants, grown in real soil. Avoid junk food NaCl and table salt at all costs. It is slow but sure poison and hugely addictive.

              1. Yes,most definitely some sodium and even if we have a gram or a gram and a half, as long as it is from a plant based intake. Celery and beetroot are loaded with sodium; avoid NaCl, especially in any processed junk food at all costs. No one needs any amount of sodium chloride or NACl at all, it is a myth.

                1. Agreed NaCl vs. Na You hear conflicting recommendations from some dietitians that Himalayan or Celtic sea salt has some beneficial minerals. If I have a twist of ‘good’ salt on my avocado I don’t feel terribly guilty. But I don’t have high BP..

      1. There’s a real U-shaped dose response in Western populations. High sodium intake increases risk of hypertension, while sodium restriction appears to increase risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and congestive heart failure. My conclusion reading the evidence was to reduce risk of hypertension with a low-added sugar, high-potassium (both comparable in BP effect to sodium) WFPB diet, reduce risk of diabetes and CVD with a low-added sugar, low fat WFPB diet, and try to keep sodium in the moderate range (2-4 g).

        1. wow Darryl, this is a very helpful post! my bp had been creeping up in past months, and I failed to make the connection to sugar. With renewed determination I will delete the snackage and see if that helps. Thank you !

        2. …unless sodium ‘restriction’ itself derives from the prospect of diabetes or heart failure, in which case the less the better, down to something under 1½ grams sodium.

    2. Just to make it more confusing, salt and sodium aren’t the same thing. The sodium content of table salt is about 39% so 3.9g of sodium equates to about 10g of table salt.

      However, as Joe suggests, watch the Sodium Skeptics video.

    3. Your confusion may be reduced by reading the reply to the comment you reference.
      Others may cite onsite videos/blogs about spurious disease associations with low-salt diets, which are healthy.
      A GENEROUS minimum sodium intake is ½ gram, and I’d cap it at 1.2 grams in a 2000 Calorie diet.
      The DASH II Diet showed negative effects on blood pressure over 1½ grams sodium, total, per day.

    4. The paper you link to is an opinion paper, that is, a commentary or short review of selected papers. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology just set up a “debate” and your paper is just one side of that debate. The previous paper in the same journal is the other side of the debate. The paper is NOT an original research article.

      When Dr. Greger makes video he provides links to the sources cited. All the sources he references are included, not just the ones he agrees with.

      Start listening to the Sodium Skeptics video at 4:36. The U-shaped curve (based on bad science) is explained.

    5. I would ordinarily think highly of these ncbi. nlm.nih.gov studies, but I am not obliged to believe everyone of them and my gut instincts tell me that, despite their findings, the idea of consuming up to 6gms of sodium, with no distinction as to its source, then I would rather continue as I do and not ingest any sodium from NaCl at all.

      1. I’m afraid you’re confusing two things:
        1. The NIH do a lot of high value medical research;
        2. The NIH host, at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, the PubMed database of all published medical research.
        In other words, there should be no default assumption of quality just because a paper is linked in PubMed (other than that it somehow made it past the referees for the relevant journal or conference).

        The paper mentioned in this part of the discussion thread is from three authors at McMaster University in Canada, and none of the three had associations with the NIH at the time they published this work.

        (Incidentally, I’ve seen elsewhere the implication that papers found on PubMed were “published by the US Government” and hence are un/trustworthy, depending on the author’s opinion of the US Government. This is a bizarre misunderstanding of how archives work.)

        1. I tend to look twice at anything coming from McMaster University.

          Probably I just have a selective memory but the studies I have come across from there all seem to be – in effect- apologias for dairy foods or salt or some other product sold by industries with deep pockets.

    6. The problem I have with villifying salt is that this “proof” is based on a flawed reductionist approach – let’s just oversimplify a complex system (the human body) and say that sodium increases blood pressure. What are the other variables at play such as potassium intake and magnesium that are not controlled for? Does it really matter if blood pressure goes up some? Could this be why blood pressure drugs can lower blood pressure a little but over 99% of people taking them won’t benefit by not dying or getting a stroke? You have blood pressure so that your organs and brain get nutrients and oxygen so you can stay alive.

      The big question I have is: if high blood pressure (B) is associated with higher mortality (C) and salt (A) is associated with higher blood pressure (B), then does A cause C? The evidence for A directly causing C is actually weak and having too little or high of a sodium intake can cause higher mortality. http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/36/5/890 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24651634

      Since I’ve been eating a mostly WFPB diet, my blood pressure has gone down (105/65) to within the government recommended levels. However, if I were to just stop adding salt or restrict it to within recommended levels such as 1500 mg or 2000 mg/day, or whatever it is, then I could actually get a headache, and if it is kept lower longer I would start getting leg cramps.

      How about instead of following generic medical advice you start listening to your body?

      1. Jesse: Dr. G. has done a number of videos about salt (see the links in his “Doctor’s Note”, above). One recent one was on effects on arterial function — which are to slow blood blow and make the arteries stiffer. I agree that people should not just blindly follow “generic medical advice”. However, the vast majority of people would be wise to keep their salt intake below 1 gram per day. I’m curious, how do you know that your headache and/or leg cramps came from low salt intake?

      2. There shouldn’t be a “level of salt” intake. The obvious problem here is the unchecked use of two terms which are not interchangeable. Sodium and NaCl are not interchangeable terms. If your sodium is from plant based material or the animal that ate the plant, your requisite for sodium AND chloride should easily be met.
        As for a diastolic of 65, each to his own, I would feel you are too close to hypotension

  2. Another excellent video Dr. Gregor! Minor tip: “sugar industry could care less if” is incorrect. It should be “sugar industry could *not* care less if”. Explanation:
    If they *could* care less then they must care at least a little bit.
    If they *could not* care less then they care the absolute minimum – which is not at all.

        1. There are two schools of thought in that regard. We might both be right!
          Looking at my comment now, though, I must admit that my comma was unnecessary.
          Hoist by my own petard.

      1. Sorry about that–user error! I totally respect Dr. Greger, he saved my life I am quite certain, literally. That was simply a typo error due to the difficulty of typing on a teeny mobile device. I have to be very motivated to accomplish the task of posting something on this device. I hope you’ll take the time to look at the study, it has some great statistics.

    1. When used, the energy currency of all living cells ATP is converted to ADP and AMP (adenosine monophosphate), so AMP is generally regarded as safe. ATP concentrations are 1-10 mM (0.05-0.5 % wt) in living cells, I’d expect similar concentrations of AMP in deceased cells.

    1. I’m going to suggest after – do you really think that anyone would allow injecting live animals all over their bodies before they are killed? I suspect you could google the answer.

      1. They are injected and topically treated with lots of chemicals while living but the brine injections are carried out on dead carcasses/carcass bits. It’s a another billion-dollar industry (i assume) that puts out an inferior (and toxic) but profitable product and does a very good job of poking us FULL of it.

  3. Salt is one of the last two remaining hangovers from my western diet. The other being plant milk on my breakfast cereal. And I’m sure it accounts for my sky high WFPB mid 50 year old male blood pressure of 122/67 , and heart rate 51. I’d love to see 110/60.

    1. Have you tried sitting and deep breathing for 5 to 10 minutes before taking a BP measurement? I get measurements like yours sometimes but that is if I’m moving around shortly before measuring.

          1. I feel personally that a newborn is a fanciful comparison. A diastolic of 60 for me would be considered borderline chronic low diastolic perssure and personally it is a pressure I don’t feel is at all appropriate.
            But each to his own.

          2. Well Blair, from reading your comments in the past, I thought you are enjoying a very healthy lifestyle now ? From my personal experience, I dont get too excited if my bp is 125/65 for example. the reason being is that it was a perfect 110/70 or 105/65 consistently at every doc appt, right up until the morning of my quad bypass. The number doesnt always tell the whole story is all Im saying, and there is a lot to be said for consciously following a terrific wfpb diet and exercise program.

        1. If I remember correctly, the American Heart Association states that high blood pressure “begins” at 140/90. Here’s their site:
          http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/American-Heart-Association-backs-current-BP-treatments_UCM_459129_Article.jsp#.WA5WEfkrJdg
          However, I recently heard on the radio this year that some research showed that a lower number of 120/80(or lower) showed much many fewer strokes and brain damage (and I’m sorry I don’t have the research to reference that piece of information) in people and to target that lower number either with medication or without. So it seems that your numbers are very nice and you should feel good about them.
          For me, even when I was a meat/dairy consumer, I cooked for myself and was careful with the salt and my pressures were a reliable 120/75. When I went vegan, 9 years ago now, my blood pressure slowly came down to the 110/65 level where it remains today (so glad for that!). Having said all of that, I have to admit that I just LOVE salt! But I don’t want to sacrifice my health for it. So I cook for myself – and usually a big pot of something so I can eat it for a few days – and use plenty of spices and items that fool the tongue. Vinegar – not a lot – is a great way to impart “salty” flavor into pot-meals as is nutritional yeast. So I try to create as much flavor as I can first, in the pot. Then when plating it is when I squeeze lemon or lime (first) and then a sprinkling of salt on top so it hits my tongue. It’s amazing how much flavor one can create with almost no salt at all. I pre-measure a daily portion of salt that I’m allowed to use. For the Kosher salt that I use it is 3/4 of a teaspoon/day for 1500mgs. I put it in a little bowl and use as I like each day. And when its gone, its gone. Easy-breezy. And often, there is salt left in the salt-bowl at the end of the day.

          The chicken industry adds salt by “plumping” which is injecting various brines into the meat. Think of how one brines a turkey before Thanksgiving. Same thing. Wikepedia has an interesting bit of information on the plumping of meat:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumping Apparently one PORTION of that plumped chicken can give a person 300-500mgs of salt (a portion is 3oz). wow!

      1. I always check it at the same activity level. Which isn’t resting or after meditation. I assumed the target 110/60 was at a moderate activity level (grocery shopping). I don’t really know though.

        1. Hi Blair, The standardized office method of measuring blood pressure is sitting down, having been quiet for about 5 minutes. Ideally measure in both arms. If really wanting accuracy, measure 3 times, about 5 minutes apart, and take the average of the last two measurements. When is it important to be that picky? Basically when making a clinical decision about treatment, to treat or not to treat, dosage etc or for research purposes. To get really accurate measurements, there is the procedure of ambulatory blood pressure measurement (Blood pressure holter) where you spend 24 hours with a device that measures your bp throughout the day and night. I am mentioning all of these really to tell you not to worry, they are not necessary for you, and do not worry if you don’t hit an exact number. But you may find if you measure your bp after 5 minutes rest, measure 3 times and average the last two measurements, you will get a value lower than what you get at a moderate activity level. Blood pressure varies throughout the day and with activity, it is supposed to, and if we couldn’t raise our bp appropriately, every time we got out of bed, our blood would obey gravity, and pool in our feet, meaning not enough blood going to the brain, and we would faint. So, just let me repeat, do not worry (and try the standard way of measuring that I have mentioned). I hope that is helpful.

          1. I think it’s also a good idea to have your feet flat on the floor when you check BP. To my annoyance, sometimes the nurse at the doctor’s office will check while I’m sitting on the edge of an examination bed, with my feet dangling unsupported. This obviously applies a slight tourniquet pressure to my legs, which can only distort the reading. I have to remind them of this, more often than not.

        2. Dr Miriam has given you the facts. The full details are in the latest American Heart Association guidelines
          http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/111/5/697

          For future reference, though, if you can’t find Dr Miriam’s post again, just go to Medline
          https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007490.htm
          It provides a basic guide which confirms that, yes, you are supposed to measure BP after resting for at least 5 minutes. It also advises “Do not take your blood pressure when you are under stress, have had caffeine or used a tobacco in the past 30 minutes, or have exercised recently.” I occasionally take mine after a cup of tea or coffee and it is definitely higher then.

          Personally, though, I like this British one.
          http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Homemonitoring/Howtomeasure

          Note that your readings may be lower when your back is supported or you are lying down.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639494/

          The technique I use at home is to take 5 readings each a minute or two apart when seated on a supportive chair/sofa, discard the highest and lowest and then average the three remaining readings. I also use a wrist cuff for measurement since I find arm cuffs stressful and my readings are consequently higher. I gave away my home arm cuff blood pressure monitor for that reason and bought an Omron wrist device.

          1. Wow Tom. Good information there but that’s getting too complicated for me. I’ve been vegan for almost 17 years now and WFPB for 1 so I don’t have any health issues. I just wanted to see 110/60 for fun and to show that it could be done at mid fifties age.

            1. Yes, sorry about that but I did it more for my benefit than yours if I am going to be honest. Your original comment was interesting and I hadn’t looked at the BP measurement issue for 3 or 4 years since changing my arm cuff device for a wrist monitor.

              Still, if you want to reach 110/60, you need to use the correct technique. This may boil down to three things:

              1. Don’t take a BP measurement within 30 minutes of exercising, drinking a caffeinated beverage or engaging in a stressful activity (eg driving, looking at your latest bills)
              2. Make sure you have been to the toilet
              3. Rest for at least 5 minutes before taking the measurement and ensure that your back is supported.

    2. Wow, I am happy to have mine at 140/55 now after going thru 6 different types of BP medications. It was running well over 200/70. Must be nice to have that problem. But then again, I am sure you don’t have stage 4 CKD like I do. There are several natural methods, herbs and spices one can also take to help with your “high” blood pressure. Cheyenne pepper and Hibiscus tea are just two of them.

      1. Scotster, I am sorry to hear that you’ve had to experiment with multiple different blood pressure medications. Are you eating a whole food, plant based diet and still experiencing hypertension? If you’re not on this type of diet, may I suggest that you check out some of the links below the video that discuss how to lower you blood pressure in a natural, healthy way? Yes, some herbs and spices may help lower your pressure a bit, but they will not undo the damage of a “traditional” Western diet.

        1. Yes, I am following a good diet plan. I was diagnosed about a year ago with a function of 27%, I have been able to maintain that level of kidney function, it is staying around 30% now. Diet and prayer, and the prayers of family and friends.

  4. Follow the Gorilla. Gorillas do not salt their food and they are healthy. I know, I know, someone is going to say, “yeah, but gorillas also eat bugs and feces”. So what? We are talking about SALT.

    1. Interesting you should bring up gorillas. Captive primates in general and gorillas in particular generally die from heart disease on a vegetarian diet designed to furnish all the proper nutrients in the proper balance. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3352420/

      And primate obesity researchers use an American Heart Association recommended diet to fatten rhesus monkeys. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/health/20monkey.html

      Gorillas themselves tend to get fat on a low-fat diet that includes lots of fruit and primate biscuits. The crude fat in primate biscuits is soybean oil. Interestingly, Cleveland Zoo researcher Elena Less thought the animals were consuming excessive amounts of saturated fat as she mentions saturated fat at least three times in her doctoral dissertation. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/case1322582620/inline

      Fortunately for captive gorillas, they are now being fed a more suitable diet. https://theawl.com/obese-gorillas-forced-to-eat-tons-of-salad-eba8e2b1f44d#.fwubrte8u

    1. Salt pulls moisture to it and holds it. So you are right, if you rubbed straight salt onto the meat, it would draw off the water and dehydrate the meat. But if you inject the meat with brine which brings in extra water, the salt will keep the water in the meat as well as tenderize the meat by reacting with the protein. Also the consumer, whose sense of taste has been so dulled by a constant deluge of salt, will not perceive the meat as being “flat” and flavorless as they would without a huge salt flavor note.

    1. They can be problematic for people with kidney disease and/or diabetes. In fact high intakes of both sodium and potassium are no-nos for people with these diseases. Low-sodium salt, of course, contains both.
      https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/preventing-diabetes-problems/kidney-disease

      Some heart medications can also affect potassium levels so it’s always worth checking such things with your physician if you are on medications or have a diagnosed medical condition.

    2. Hi, Rik. I am Christine, a NF volunteer. Some people do not like the taste of potassium chloride salt substitutes. Also, there are medications that can interact with high potassium intake, which may also be contraindicated with kidney disease. If you like the taste, check with your doctor to see if there is any reason you should not use potassium chloride. I hope that helps!

      1. thx, Tom and Christine! much appreciated — I’m very healthy, no meds — and don’t notice the difference with half and half — and don’t use it that much anyway, but nice to have on some popcorn, lol

  5. Calling all Canadians and friends. The federal ministry of health (Health Canada) is doing a survey on revamping their food guide. I just finished the survey and gave them a stern talking to and encouraged them to follow Dr Gregor’s lead on nutrient based food guides. Could you all please fill in their survey too and tell them to give the public more evidenced based nutrition guidance please? And none of this milk and meats as part of our food plate – really! Thank you – on behalf of all Canadians!

    Here’s the link: http://www.foodguideconsultation.ca/?utm_campaign=survey&utm_source=complete&utm_medium=link

    Thank you. Merci.

  6. My good friend insists he must eat a high fat diet due to his congenital heart disease so he’s a reluctant omnivore. I’m not sure which type of defect he has. What does the science say about the different types of *congenital* heart disease?

    1. Eve, in all my years of medical training, I have never heard of a congenital heart condition which requires a high fat diet. Unfortunately, your friend is likely misinformed. Likewise, many healthcare professionals are also misinformed since nutrition is barely on the radar in medical training. Providing your friend with well-researched articles (such as those found on this site) and waiting for teachable moments (as opposed to constantly nagging) may be your best way of helping your friend.

  7. Hi,

    I am on a whole food vegan diet. I eat no processed food except for veggie burgers. I add iodized sea salt to my food each day to ensure I’m getting enough iodine.

    My question is if I were to remove added salt and all processed foods from my diet, would I still be getting enough sodium each day?

    I also workout daily. I roughly calculated the sodium in the foods I eat and it seemed I would fall way short of the daily recommended sodium intake (in Canada) without any added salt in my diet.

    Looked around and can’t seem to find an answer on this,

    Thanks!

      1. Thanks for responding,

        I don’t eat sea vegetables because I read they have high levels of heavy metals like fish…

        I did watch the above video, but I am somewhat confused.

        Health Canada recommends a minimum of 1500 mg sodium per day for “Adequate Intake” and no more than 2300 mg.

        I roughly calculated the sodium in my diet right now, and if I removed all added salt and processed foods from my diet I wouldn’t even be consuming 1000 mg of sodium per day on a whole food vegan diet. (From what I remember it was between 700 – 900 mg)

        I’m eating a balanced variety of fruits, vegetables and greens, nuts, seeds and legumes.

        Does this mean we can consume less sodium than Health Canada’s minimum and still be healthy? How little sodium can we live on with moderate to high physical activity?

        Thanks,
        Phil

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