73: Salt. Why sodium intake may be ruining your health.

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In this episode, we talk about salt, electrolytes, and why you should be taking a serious look at your daily levels. We also address the endurance myth of salt consumption, the history,the genes associated with sodium, and why certain demographics need to pay more attention to their levels than others.

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  • Show notes


    1. Yanonami Indians in Brazillian rainforests still maintain ancient dietary patterns and consume less than 500mg/day
    2. The CDC estimates that the average American consumes 3,436 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day – far more than the maximum recommendation of 2,300 mg
    3. Salt became important when humans transitioned from eating, plants, fruits, bugs to using tools to hunt. Salt was important in the preservation of food.
    4. In modern times salt in higher concentration suppresses the bitterness of processed foods.
    5. 70%-80% of the sodium in U.S. diets comes not from the salt shaker but from packaged, processed, restaurant, and store-bought foods.
    6. In May, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report that found 85 out of 102 restaurant meals from 17 popular chains had more than a full day’s worth of sodium. Some had more than four days’ worth.
    7. Clinical studies have indicated that the effect of sodium intake on blood pressure is influenced by a gene called the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). GA and AA variants of this gene increase your likeliness to having elevated blood pressure when consuming salt.  


Ways to reduce salt intake:


  1. Eat MORE fresh minimally processed foods.
  2. Read the nutrition labels on packaged foods.
  3. When eating out at restaurants ask for low salt preparation.
  4. Avoid high sodium sauces like Soy, ketchup, mustard, and some salad dressings.
  5. Use sodium-free spices or fresh herbs to flavor foods.



  1. Poch et al. “Molecular Basis of Salt Sensitivity in Human Hypertension. Evaluation of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldos-terone System Gene Polymorphisms,” Hypertension 38, no, 5 (2001): 1204-1209


PAUL, SHARAD P. GENETICS OF HEALTH: Understand Your Genes for Better Health. ATRIA Books, 2018.



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