Sodium rant

I'm sick and tired of the frequently stated belief that you don't need to worry about sodium unless you have high blood pressure. Arguably, all of us, especially those of us who are overweight, should limit our sodium intake because doing so not only lowers blood pressure but helps prevent the development of high blood pressure.

Replies

  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,831 Member
    Yes, the study reported in the NY Times does find that grossly reducing sodium intake to a very may not have the cardio-vascular benefits some suggest, it still finds that the benefits do accrue with a reduction from the average of 3400 mg/day to 2300 mg/day. Reading reviews of that study and further research brings some of it's conclusions into question. Consider: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2013/05/17/the-new-salt-controversy/

    An interesting meta-analysis found that the scientific literature on sodium's effects on health are divided into two information silos with the "pros" and the "cons" divided into two staunch camps. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26888870

    This is a case in which we each need to weigh the evidence and make choices. I think it is simplistic to say one doesn't need to worry about sodium consumption. That's not what the report discussed in the New York Times found. They still found serious health problems correlated with very high salt consumption. Arguably, the current average of 3400 mg/day is too much sodium, the American Heart Association recommendation of 1500 mg/day is too little, and 2300 mg/day, an oft-studied figure, is just right.

    At list point NO ONE IS SURE what the right amount of sodium is but I still think it's naive to suggest that because we are not sure people can ignore the recommendations and eat as much sodium as they like.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 33,930 Member
    Or...they could use their own best judgement.

    I often eat over 3000. I'm at a healthy weight and healthy BP.

    My doctor told me caffeine is worse than salt for BP. I think there are a lot of factors in play, not the least of which is body weight.
  • ccrdragon
    ccrdragon Posts: 3,365 Member
    edited September 2017
    Unless you are one of the people that actually reacts to salt, I don't think that there is any problem with going over the 2300mg recommendation - I routinely do and still have a resting BP value of 110/78.
  • ccrdragon
    ccrdragon Posts: 3,365 Member
    I'm stealing this from another board - some good info on using MORE salt than is recommended:

    First the study links:

    http://www.thelancet.com/action/showFullTextImages?pii=S0140-6736(16)30467-6

    Key quotes from that one are:
    In those individuals with hypertension (6835 events), sodium excretion of 7 g/day or more (7060 [11%] of population with hypertension: hazard ratio1·23 [95% CI 1·11–1·37]; p<0·0001) and less than 3 g/day (7006 [11%] of population with hypertension: 1·34 [1·23–1·47]; p<0·0001) were both associated with increased risk compared with sodium excretion of 4–5 g/day

    and
    higher sodium excretion was not associated with risk of the primary composite outcome (≥7 g/day in 6271 [9%] of the population without hypertension

    Second study link:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28110297

    Key quote from this abstract is:
    Prospective cohort studies have identified the optimal range of sodium intake to reside in the moderate range (3-5 g/day), where the risk of cardiovascular disease and death is lowest.
  • BrianAWeber
    BrianAWeber Posts: 82 Member
    If you over indulge in anything the results are often are negative. With sodium I have noticed that it is really easy to double or even triple the daily recommended amounts. This is even more common if you eat out often. I have moved from reducing calories to lose weight to watching my sodium because it is the one nutrient that is most often far out of spec.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    Haven't checked mine. I bet I'm way over the recommendation.

    I've done 110 miles in the last 7 days on my bike. The sun is still strong here, I lose a lot of salt by sweating. It's probably not a coincidence I tend to crave salty foods.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    I'm sick and tired of the frequently stated belief that you don't need to worry about sodium unless you have high blood pressure. Arguably, all of us, especially those of us who are overweight, should limit our sodium intake because doing so not only lowers blood pressure but helps prevent the development of high blood pressure.

    I don't believe sodium has been shown to be a cause of high blood pressure. Lowering sodium intake can lower BP, but i doubt it addresses the root cause of why someone has high BP.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,182 Member
    Heidi, I feel your advocacy, but I'm in that subset of people who've lost so much weight that our blood pressure is near enough to low to earn a sodium bonus. For folks who suffer the spectrum of obesity-related health effects, which includes high blood pressure, it is entirely appropriate that they reduce their sodium intake now. That can lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk of inflammation and atherosclerosis immediately. They still need to lose weight and deal with all the other things that raise risks of inflammation and atherosclerosis, but those take a lot of time and clinicians don't have that. We're virtually left to our own devices to even learn about inflammation and atherosclerosis.
  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    I don't know much about this topic. Other than the fact that I have never fussed with keeping my sodium levels low because I have really, really low blood pressure to the point of inconvenience. I wouldn't think that people like myself should be aiming to minimise our sodium?
  • seltzermint555
    seltzermint555 Posts: 10,742 Member
    If you over indulge in anything the results are often are negative. With sodium I have noticed that it is really easy to double or even triple the daily recommended amounts. This is even more common if you eat out often. I have moved from reducing calories to lose weight to watching my sodium because it is the one nutrient that is most often far out of spec.

    I find this to be true about restaurants for sure. We eat pretty low sodium on purpose at home and it actually has helped my husband's borderline HBP (and he was concerned/interested in those recent studies about the reverse happening to some). When we eat our meals at home I notice that I am always below or close to the recommended amount of sodium. But even 1 meal in a chain restaurant logged and I see crazy numbers in the sodium column.

  • pheonix225
    pheonix225 Posts: 1 Member
    So I have no proof or research to back me up here, BUT did any of the studies show the source of the sodium? I eat over 3000g/day of sodium and even with that consumption level my labs always come back with sodium in the dangerously low category (I have licked salt off my hand a prescribed number of minutes before the labs and it still comes back low). Partly due to genetics and partly due to how much water I drink (I have saliva issues and water helps). Even with low sodium levels though I've had HBP. Now I know that the HBP was connected to insulin resistance, but if you weren't looking at my labs and you were only looking at my HBP and my salt intake it's like you'd tell me to decrease my sodium levels which would land me in a heap on the floor unconscious. Reality is I had to cut down on my processed foods (bread, pasta, tortillas, etc even the whole-grain stuff) and INCREASE my salt intake. And Voila no more HBP or high resting heart rate. So because of my personal experience I wonder if it's actually the salt or if it's more the carrier for the salt. Veggies and fruit and even regular meat are pretty low in sodium, bread, processed meats, cheeses, etc aren't but is the high blood pressure connected to something else.
  • JustRobby1
    JustRobby1 Posts: 674 Member
    You are free to be as paranoid about sodium (or any other macro) as you like I suppose, but as for myself I have better things to do with my time.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    I think people don't need to worry or stress about it unless they have a health condition requiring very specific limits.
    I do think it is good to moderate sodium intake. Moderation does not have to equal worry.

    I try to not go over the default amount MFP has in the goals. It is less than I used to get. I tried a much lower sodium diet for a month and it was pretty difficult for me. I did learn I can have less sodium than I used to though.