How a low salt diet could be causing or contributing to insulin resistance, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, Alzheimer’s, and hypertension and heart disease.
It appears by shifting our diets to a low fat, low salt model could be exactly what is driving our chronic health and weight issues today.
By promoting a low fat diet several decades ago it caused a dramatic shift in what we ate. As we cut back on the fat we significantly upped the sugar and grains. After all, we had to eat something, right?
Then we added the low sodium recommendation encouraging Americans to drastically reduce salt intake.
So, what do you think happens to the taste of our food when you take the fat and salt out of it? It tastes BAD! Bland. Boring and unappetizing.
That makes it hard to sell food, especially processed and restaurant food.
After all, salt and fat is what butter and bacon are all about right?
So what was the solution?…… SUGAR! Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at supper time. Sugar was the answer to producing palatable foods and hence forth came the long list of added sugars, from plain old sugar to high fructose corn syrup and the list of over 40 other sugars by different names.
This is a huge triple whammy:
1. Increased sugars drive high levels of insulin leading to insulin resistance AND at the same time caused sodium excretion and depletion in the body.
2. Decreased dietary intake of salt combined with the insulin promotion of sodium excretion caused a state of sodium deficiency functionally in the body raising heart rate, increasing vascular resistance (both trump any rise in blood pressure) and promote increased insulin resistance.
3. Stress: Sugar has been shown to increase stress hormones (cortisol) by 300%. Increased cortisol raises insulin levels…..which in turn lowers sodium levels which increases adrenal hormone output and kidney stress.
And around and around we go!
Low salt plus high insulin (sugar/grains) means:
Insulin issues: insulin resistance, prediabetes, diabetes.
Hypertension, heart disease.
Adrenal stress/fatigue, energy issues.
Increased risk of Alzheimer’s / Cognitive decline.
What do we need to do?
Here’s a start:
1. Bring the healthy, natural fat back into our diet….yes, even saturated fat.
2. Cut the insulin producing foods, mainly sugar and grains.
3. Up the natural sea salt intake in our diet significantly.
What else? Dedicated sleep improvement plan, stress resilience work, metabolic focused exercise, detoxify our house and body, make a commitment and get a plan, then follow the plan!
I hope this made sense…..it can make my head spin at times. If you have any questions, shoot them over and I will do the best I can. If you want more details and depth, I suggest reading The Salt Fix. By Dr. James DiNicolantonio.
We can do better my friends!