The Roundup - Edition 5

The Roundup


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Here is The Roundup, Edition 5, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!

Blast from the Past

Last May (2012), I wrote an entire series on salt, including the history of salt in the human diet, the dangers of salt restriction, and my recommendations for a healthy salt intake. There’s no evidence that adding salt to taste to a whole foods, Paleo diet is unhealthy, and salt restriction to the level recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) is not only completely unnecessary, it’s potentially harmful. There are far more effective ways to reduce blood pressure and the risk for heart disease and stroke than salt restriction, such as increasing dietary intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Now, a New York Times article explains how a new expert committee, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the request of the CDC, confirmed that there’s no rationale restricting sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams a day—let alone the AHA target of 1,500 mg per day. The IOM committee also agrees that a sodium intake this low could increase rates of heart attacks and the risk of death in certain populations. It’s incredible to me that this is still considered a controversial topic and that there is so much disagreement between various health organizations on how much salt is “too much” for the general population. It’s perfectly reasonable for most people to consume between 3-4 grams per day, which is right around the world average for salt intake (3,400 mg/day or ~1.5 tsp salt).

Hopefully this (non) issue will be settled soon, and we can focus our attention on the dietary components that really do make a difference in the general population’s health.

Research Report

  • New evidence suggests that gluten intolerance may drive at least some cases of IBS.
  • Research finds that sunlight prolongs lifespan by lowering blood pressure, demonstrating how the benefits of sun exposure outweigh the risks.
  • A new study suggests lowest risk of death occurs at vitamin D levels between 20-36 ng/mL. (Note that 20-30 ng/mL is deficiency according to current standards. I will discuss this on my next podcast.)
  • A hospital survey found that kids living in the U.S. who were born elsewhere are 59 percent less likely to have allergic diseases, but their risk increases with time spent in the country.

Worth a Look

  • Nourished Kitchen: Jenny explains why she drinks full fat, local, raw milk.
  • Mark’s Daily Apple: The top 8 most common reactions to your grain-free diet, and how to respond.
  • A new app allows you to easily boycott Monsanto products—not just food.
  • SexyBack Summit: Sean Croxton hosts another great summit, this time focused on all aspects of sexual health.

For the Foodies

  1. So according to that Vit D study, Chris..does this mean that we are knocking ourselves out to achieve levels of D from 50-70 and this could be dangerous?
    This could be quite the blow for the guys on the Vit D Council, Joe Mercola and many of the experts out there.
    I wondered about all that supplementing and how harmful that could be.
    It should be interesting if this info catches on and they get the word out to change our intake.

  2. Considering that our kidneys reabsorb sodium to maintain a 0.9% sodium (isotonic) concentration in our blood, there is no benefit to reducing sodium below 0.9 g for every liter of water we consume.

    • Forgive me – I should have said there is no benefit to reducing sodium chloride below 9 g for every liter of water consumed, i.e. the isotonic concentration.

  3. First if all thanks for all the information on your site and podcast. I am confused about what you are recommending for salt intake. A previous article on your site says 1.5 to 3 tsp per day. If tsp = 5g that’s 7.5g to 15g per day which sounds like a lot more than you are saying here. Clarification would be appreciated!

  4. Hi Chris,

    I was just thinking about upping my potassium intake. Any suggestions on the best way to do this? Should I just focus on more potatoes, tomatoes, and bananas? Maybe avocados? Is homemade bone broth a decent source? I’d like to make sure I’m above the 4700mg mark.