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Old 11-17-2004, 03:24 PM   #1
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How Much Salt Is Too Much?

I realize that "NO" salt is the best answer. However, besides the salt foods normally contain (especially prepared foods and canned foods), how much would be considered at least "marginally OK" to add? Is 1/2 tsp a day not that bad? Or 1 tsp? Or how much? I have high blood pressure but am also a salt freak....I like it on most foods. I'm trying to find a good way to cut down, but still have at least a little bit. Am I asking too much? Thanks for any opinions

 
Old 11-17-2004, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryF
I realize that "NO" salt is the best answer. However, besides the salt foods normally contain (especially prepared foods and canned foods), how much would be considered at least "marginally OK" to add? Is 1/2 tsp a day not that bad? Or 1 tsp? Or how much? I have high blood pressure but am also a salt freak....I like it on most foods. I'm trying to find a good way to cut down, but still have at least a little bit. Am I asking too much? Thanks for any opinions
Anything over the daily recommended value ;p. I'm not quite sure what that is (1 teaspoon I think).

No salt is not the best answer. Salt is needed in your diet, just not much.

 
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Naes is correct 2400g of salt according to the fda website, which equals a 1teaspoon.

have you tried other herbs or mrs. dash seasonings are good in place of salt. my dietician gave me samples and they were great for seasoning instead of salt.

 
Old 11-17-2004, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Thanks to both for the replies No, I haven't thought about herbs & seasonings, but guess I'd better look into it. I really need to cut down (I use WAY too much salt....always have....now I'm paying the price). Anyway, I appreciate the thoughts. Best.....LarryF

 
Old 11-18-2004, 01:42 AM   #5
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Apart from lots of other spices, garlic helps a lot, and lemon juice is a godsend.... adds a kind of salt-like "tang".

Tough habit to break. Just cutting down to that 1 tsp. is a killer if you're in love with salt. By the way when they say one tsp that's your total for the day including what you add with the salt-shaker. They say it takes 3 weeks to break the salt-habit. Like you, I was ( er...AM) crazy about salt...Now I'm down to a little less than 2400 mg, although, mea culpa, I DO "cheat" from time to time. Never notice a difference in BP when I do. Perhaps I'm not salt-sensitive. But I figure better to err on the side of caution.

zuzu xxx

Last edited by zuzu8; 11-18-2004 at 01:47 AM.

 
Old 11-18-2004, 04:40 AM   #6
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Do a search for 'Low Sodium Cooking' and you'll find some interesting web sites. There's one that's run by a guy and he's got some good recipes - stuff that I can serve my family and friends. Nobody realizes it's low-sodium. Right now he has a newsletter posted with tips for Thanksgiving dinner.

I don't think I'm allowed to list web sites here, so you'll have to do your own search.

 
Old 11-18-2004, 07:16 AM   #7
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

I like salt on some foods - like steak, and I like salty soups. But, I have been trying to watch my salt intake. I like the Mrs Dash stuff, the tomato-basil-garlic is my favorite. There are several varieties of it, from very spicy to rather bland. These can be found with the other spices in the grocery store.

When trying to reduce your salt intake, be sure to check the labels of prepackaged food. It is really discouraging how much salt is put into processed food. Some times it is close to the daily recommended amount. Also check the portion size. For instance, on some brands of pizza, the portion size is one slice - 1/6th of a pizza, and that is %50 percent or more of the daily reccommended portion of sodium. Come on, who eats one slice of pizza?!?

I even check the ingredients of plain frozen veggies. One store brand even adds salt to them!

For all those brands of frozen dinners, even ones that "claim" to be healthy, most still add way too much salt - 40% of the daily required or more.

 
Old 11-18-2004, 07:23 AM   #8
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

There is so much contradictory information on sodium that it is hard to tell even what to believe.

Here's what the salt industry has to say about the subject. Of couse, I'd have to say that they are going to be a little biased, don't you think?

http://www.saltinstitute.org/pubstat/nhbpepcc.html


And, this is the cohort study that is referenced. It noted a substantial INCREASE in heart attacks for men on a low sodium diet.

http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/25/6/1144


And, then this article calls the above study nonsense:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_v19/ai_3796454/pg_2


The doctors don't even agree.

http://www.medicalcrossfire.com/debate_archive/2000/April_00/SodiumIntake.htm


And, then there is this little study. It talks about diabetes. But, I think it really applies to all. It found that unmedicated folks on a low salt diet had no change in BP. However, when losartan was used, the effect of adding a low salt diet was like adding another drug.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CUH/is_4_25/ai_85170977/pg_1



Pal

 
Old 11-18-2004, 08:17 AM   #9
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Pal, i agree with you that drs don't even agree about sodium. My cardio dr said i could cook with salt but not to add more salt. I also read an article in a health mag. that said it was ok to use a little salt.

Since i don't know who to believe, i just don't use it. Im use to not eating alot of soduim and i do feel better. I do know the body does need some salt.

 
Old 11-18-2004, 10:48 AM   #10
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

I guess one should add that it also depends on your lifestyle. If you do heavy exercise, or have a physically demanding job where you end up sweating a lot, then you probably need more salt than the guidelines. If you sit at a desk all day and hardly ever break a sweat, you should try to get by with less.

I think my bp is inherited, and it doesn't seem to be salt sensitive (except when I was on toprol), but I figure trying to be aware of how much I eat and try to keep that a reasonable amount is not a bad thing.

Last edited by mgraylorn; 11-18-2004 at 10:48 AM.

 
Old 11-20-2004, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

I do know it is possible to cut down too much on salt. My sister-in-law ended up in the hospital as a result of almost totally cutting it out of her diet. And she was a relatively inactive person in her seventies when this happened; it is not as though she was an athlete or something. I don't recall exactly what it did to her system, but I do know that certain nutrients need to be in balance, and she had thrown that balance off.

Not many of us would be willing to cut down on salt so much that that is a danger, however. Unless someone is willing to prepare almost all foods "from scratch," they are likely to get more than enough from just the prepared foods they purchase, even if they do try to get those lower in salt.

My problem? I like the salt shaker, too!

 
Old 11-21-2004, 06:31 AM   #12
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

LarryF,

The MINIMUM sodium required per day is of the order of 400-500 mg. (about 1/5 tsp.) The MAXIMUM recommended for good health is 2400 mg unless sweating profusely (and unused to heat.)
That mimimum can be exceeded with as little as a half can of Campbell's Soup or ONE Amish pretzel.
So to answer your question precisely:
Quote:
However, besides the salt foods normally contain (especially prepared foods and canned foods), how much would be considered at least "marginally OK" to add?
The answer is almost certainly "less than none." The modern American "diet" has FAR, FAR too much sodium in it without ever touching a salt shaker- probably in excess of 4000 mg./day.

Last edited by Lenin; 11-21-2004 at 06:36 AM.

 
Old 11-21-2004, 11:35 AM   #13
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Lenin,

A somewhat encypted question:

Have you heard of Costa Gavras?

Check one:
A) Yes
B) No
C) What are you talking about?

zuzu xx

 
Old 11-21-2004, 12:14 PM   #14
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Pal,

Thanks for the links to all those articles!

I was reeling by the time I finished reading just two of'em.
As you so succinctly put it:

Regarding the Salt Institute's presentation, perhaps we should take it with a, um..er...how shall I say it...grain of SALT?.

Personally I find no difference in my BP (controlled with just straight Diovan 160mg @113-115/upper 60's-lo 70's) whether I'm being ruthless with sodium intake or whether I've binged for a week.

zuzu xxx

 
Old 11-21-2004, 06:11 PM   #15
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Re: How Much Salt Is Too Much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzu8
Personally I find no difference in my BP (controlled with just straight Diovan 160mg @113-115/upper 60's-lo 70's) whether I'm being ruthless with sodium intake or whether I've binged for a week.
I'm on Benicar 20mg. I eat relatively low sodium most of the time. My BP also averages around 116/66. However, if I consume loads of salt (usually from eating out), my BP will be around 5-10 points higher for about 3 days. It's not an immediate response. It usually take around 12 hours for the spike. And, it takes around 3 days to wash out. And, of course, I also notice a couple extra pounds on the scale. Prior to Benicar, salt made absolutely no difference in my BP - it averaged around 135/85.

Pal

 
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