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Friday, 9 March 2012

Don’t Fear Salt !

Most straight thinking people realise pretty quickly the standard dietary advice for diabetics from most healthcare professionals is wrong, very wrong. They realise the carbs have got to go big time. Next the question comes up what about the fats. Everywhere you look it’s low fat this and low fat that. Every food advert almost every packaged food shouts low fat. Low fat factory and prepared food is cheaper to make and if people believe it’s more healthy they will pay more money. It’s a real winner for the food manufacturers. Cheaper to make and premium price leads to bigger profit margins. Again the straight thinking person soon realises there are good fats and bad fats. The straight thinker soon learns the right fats are essential to good health. Next question to address is salt.

For most type two diabetics high blood pressure is part of the diabetes deal. And the standard advice from the medics is drop the salt. Salt they tell us will do our blood pressure no good at all. Excessive levels of salt does no-one any good, very much like insulin levels, but as with insulin, too low a level leads to serious problems. If you start a low carb diet and prepare all your own food and avoid added salt, you may be going too low on salt. Think about it, many of us were eating ready meals and factory made foods before low carbing and many of these foods have a very high salt content. We have quickly gone from a high salt diet to a possibly very low salt diet.
Some words from Dr. Jay Wortman a lowcarb expert and type two diabetic on lowcarb and salt.

“When you cut the carbs your kidneys will release sodium. This is why people lose some water initially and why blood pressure also tends to get better on low-carb. If you are not careful to replace the lost sodium sufficiently by adding salt to your food, you will experience the effects of mild hypo-natremia. These are: headache, constipation, weakness, fatigue, low-blood pressure, othostatic hypotension and possibly leg cramps. If you get a blood test you may find that your potassium is low, too. Unfortunately, there is no reliable blood test for magnesium but it may also be low. Supplementing with salt should correct these problems. You don't need to take a potassium supplement, it will correct if you eat enough salt. Some people will have a persistent magnesium deficiency that will require supplements. This would be manifested by leg cramps and hyper-reflexia (something your doctor can check). To correct this you should take a slow-release Mg++ supplement daily.

Many people make the mistake of restricting salt and drinking lots of water when on a low carb diet. This is virtually guaranteed to cause problems. When you look carefully at the studies that report equivocal results with a low-carb diet, this is invariably one of the reasons.”



Anonymous said...

I can remember reading this excellent piece some months ago, but it is very useful for us all to read and take notice of some sound advice from Dr Jay.

It is with some shame when I think back and remember the amount of ready meals I used to eat, didn't do me any good at all. I'm not saying all ready meals are bad, if you are short of time you can choose some from supermarkets that aren't too bad for carb content.

I am sure we can all learn to adjust carbs, fats, proteins, salt etc it can seem confusing but take it slowly and the result can be amazing.

If you do feel unwell you must check things out with your GP. I am not a medical person but talking with fellow diabetics who are following a lower carb lifestyle they do not seem to have had any difficulties.


Anonymous said...

If you use the common Saxa type salt then there is little if any beneficial mineral content beyond sodium ( a bit like bread really :) ), However use one of the better Sea Salts and you not only get the minerals you also get the better taste. You also dont need nearly so much of it.